As we approach Family Day, we often become nostalgic about our familial ties. Some relish time with loved ones, some think of those who have left them, others still about the tenuous bonds that they wish to mend. Family Day acts as a simple reminder that a sound family-focused wealth plan must extend beyond yourself. Below are some of the ways that stewardship of family wealth can succeed.
Connect to Your Core
No family wealth plan can begin without a focus on the core. Ask yourself questions, lots of them. These probing questions should focus on what concerns you most: your values, goals, ambitions, hopes, fears and motivations. Think beyond yourself to your family, business, community and philanthropy to truly get to the core of your vision and alignment will follow.
Communication is key in any relationship, whether that be family, personal or business. Open communication allows the opportunity to share your core values and wishes, while also hearing what your partners and family members have to say. Once all perspectives are on the table, one or more parties may end up adjusting their original positions, coming to new common ground.
Commit to your vision. Built on the foundation of your beliefs, values and aspiration, this vision for your family plan must be worked towards day in and day out. Work with your advisors at all levels to ensure you are optimizing your plan, making the best choices and taking the most effective steps to achieve your vision.
Expectations often result in disappointment when parties believe they are entitled to or expecting a particular outcome, that does not come to pass. When these expectations are not met, resentment sets in and conflict often arises. Many families attempt to avoid this conflict by not discussing particular issues or clarifying expectations in advance. If a conflict is going to arise, it will come whether now or later; however the sooner you clarify such concerns, the sooner your family unit can re-align to their common goals.
Coach your children and other vested parties around how to steward the family wealth plan. This coaching is a process and the journey should begin as early as possible to allow your family to understand the family legacy, their part in it and how they can support future outcomes.