What good governance looks like Several years ago, a wealth manager approached me with a problem. The family of one of her clients, a very successful public company CEO, was in disarray. Challenges included spendthrift behavior, family members disrespecting staff of the single-family office, and adult children unsure about how to make their ways in the world.
What’s really going on around family wealth?The term family dynamics is used by family wealth advisors more often than it is explained. Usually they use it to mean things that go wrong in a family due to personalities, relationships, and interactions.
The proven path to preserving long-term wealth What I call Family Wealth Ways are exactly that—ways to develop and preserve family wealth for generations to come. Family Wealth Ways are rooted in practices drawn from family governance, family wealth dynamics, sound succession planning, and family-centered estate planning services. As an evangelist for those services, I have simplified their core concepts and practices to make them more accessible and easier to use.
It’s not for everyone Family wealth is usually defined as business, real estate, or financial assets jointly owned by family members rather than a single individual or nonfamily partners. In wealth management circles it is also usually considered multigenerational wealth or dynastic wealth, assets to be passed along to living beneficiaries and future generations, rather than spent.
Steps to take before things get out of hand A number of years ago, a study found that the two most common causes of failures to successfully hand off a family-business to successors were unprepared heirs and poor communication among family members.
These habits pose greater dangers than high taxes or low returns Habits that destroy family wealth or a family business come naturally to many wealth creators and business owners. Some of the habits I cover in this post can emerge over time as one becomes more successful and more protective of their assets. Yet most of them are driven by a wealth creator’s ego and desire for control.