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unHeritage – 11 Pitfalls to Family Legacy and How to Avoid Them
“unHeritage is definitely the lighthouse for protecting your family and wealth for generations. This book is a must read for anyone interested in legacy planning.” Enzo Calamo
Center for Family Conversations
The Center for Family Conversations (CFC) is a resource center that provides the integral tools and ideas in helping families establish a 100-year-plus Family Legacy Plan.
THE TYCOON PLAYBOOK – How Business Empires Are Built
The Tycoon Playbook course was created for business families who are already running a successful business and wish to ramp up their growth while preserving wealth for future generations. Specifically, the Playbook teaches high performance business owners the two most highly rewarded skills in business, namely deal-making and how to acquire cash flow producing business assets.
Succession planning is vital to a company’s long-term growth prospects and should be part of a wider talent management programme
A millionaire who retired at 27 shares his tips to setting up your company to run under a leader of your choice.
The Idea of Family Wealth This topic is absolutely foreign to the middle class, and even many high income earners. I myself have never experienced it;, my education comes directly from speaking with wealthy individuals and observing some of the richest families in history. The Idea of Family Wealth.
Preparing Heirs by Bill High What is it about our kids that prompt such great emotion – from elation to depression? Certainly, there is no greater joy than to see our children flourish and no greater agony than to see them wander from our values and our beliefs. Irony: neglecting the “soft” side The greatest irony in family estate planning: spending countless hours on the “hard” side of assets while giving lip service to the “soft” side of people development. The tendency in estate planning is to prepare legal documents that transfer financial wealth without preparing our children for true legacy. What does preparing our children for true legacy mean? Preparing children for true legacy Life is often a blur in the child-raising years. In the same timeframe that we are raising kids, we are building our careers. And frankly, some of us tend to do a better job of building financial wealth than “family wealth.” Much of what our children learn is left to chance: whatever they observe along the way. When things finally settle down a bit, the children are graduated, off to college, or even absorbed with starting their own careers and families. What is family wealth? In his book, Family Wealth, James Hughes discusses the importance of human capital that includes the following outcomes – ideally for all family members: They are thriving They have a strong sense of purpose, passion, and calling They have a strong sense of work ethic and character qualities like integrity, honesty, and compassion They have interpersonal relationships both within the family and externally They understand that life does not revolve around them but that instead they are part of a greater whole, a greater cause They have spiritual grounding They are generous. These are big ideas, which go way beyond transferring financial capital. They go to transferring intellectual capital, social capital, emotional capital, and spiritual capital as well. Good relationships require intentionality It’s time spent with children with intentionality – making sure they understand our story and that we understand theirs. It is time spent repairing relational damage that is unintentional but inevitable. It is making sure they are healthy, thriving, and feeling fulfilled. Giving together creates unity One of the best tools I’ve found to bring families together is giving together. Structurally, that may take the form of creating a foundation or a donor advised fund. But practically, it simply means doing some giving together. Giving is the great equalizer. Suffice it to say that giving prompts conversations that everyone can participate in regardless of age or experience. Investing in legacy So what do you want when you think about your heirs – great joy or great agony? It will take great effort to achieve the former. It must go beyond estate documents. Estate documents are a part, but they really should be guided with the influence of all forms of capital – […]
Change to an Elder Culture | Rich Grehalva In this short talk, Rich Grehalva shares an idea drawn from his Native American heritage about how our society needs to transform from an “elderly” culture to an “elder” one. Rich Grehalva, is an experienced sales & marketing executive, author, speaker and coach.
Family Farm succession planning – equal or fair? by John Mill The recent appeal decision in Mountain v. TD Canada Trust is a classic example of how badly things end up without proper business succession planning. The case involved a farm that had been in Mountain family for five generations since 1830. Gary the son had been working on the farm for 24 years since high school and had received less than average wages so money could be used to build up the farm. Gary said that his father Jack had promised to pass the farm onto him. Gary’s sister Louanne never worked on the farm. A universal problem in family farms and businesses is that there are usually children who do not work on the farm or in the business. The question becomes how do you treat these children fairly? A common misconception is that the child on the farm or in the business will be getting a very valuable asset; however if the farm or business is not to be sold then what the child really gets is a job. The problem in this case was that Jack and Helen Mountain had identical wills. Each left all of his/her estate to the other absolutely, or if either spouse died first, the estate would go to Gary and Louanne to share and share alike. This is the default will pattern employed by most families. But in family business succession cases the default will pattern creates havoc as happened with the Mountains. After Jack’s death Gary’s sister Louanne took the position that under the will she was entitled to half the farm. So Gary started a lawsuit to enforce what he claimed was an oral agreement that the farm was to go to him. In the period between January 2000 and November 28, 2001 when he died, Jack had made a number of attempts to transfer the farm to Gary. First Jack saw Mr. Riley his bookkeeper and tax preparer. Mr. Riley had detailed notes of their discussions about how to transfer the farm to Gary. The Judge ignored these notes because Jack did not act on them. In October 2001 Jack was hospitalized. He was first visited by retired lawyer Don Elliot who referred him to another lawyer Chris Moon. Mr. Moon prepared powers of attorney to be used if Jack was disabled but he did not recall discussing any land transfers. It seems odd that this lawyer would not have asked about Jack’s intentions for the farm. In mid November Jack met with Mr. Riley again. Mr. Riley sent a letter addressed to Jack, dated November 13, 2001. The letter says: This letter summarizes our discussion of the farm rollover from you and Helen to Gary. If I understand your desires correctly, the two farms, the 46 acre lot with the helper house and the trailer on the 97 acre farm are to be rolled over to Gary. The one-acre lot at Conc. 4, WHS Pt Lot 33, is to […]
What’s Your Greatest Legacy? Hint: It’s Not Your Family Business by Tom Deans, Ph.D I was playing my regular Saturday morning squash game and had my friend two games to zero. I was only three points away from taking the match in a clean three-game sweep. But something happened. I started to drift and lose focus. To make a long story short, I flamed out and went down three games to two. The sting of defeat is always more acute when you’ve already begun to celebrate before victory is earned. On the drive home I wondered how many business founders have always imagined that the surest succession plan – the sale of the business to their own children – is a slam-dunk, only to find out too late that their children love their jobs but hate risking capital. The plan is to talk later I also wondered how many business owners never really know how to broach the subject of selling the business to their kids. The issue feels so emotionally complex and dangerous; the best plan is to plan to have the conversation…later. Many business owners in my audiences express to me the sentiment that if their kids were “real” business owners they would make the first move and raise the subject of a buy out. Similarly, kids will say “hey, I’m waiting for the big guy to make the first move.” I wondered how many families feel the sting of defeat, never experiencing what could have been a great transition because no one knew how to start what is perhaps the most important conversation of a business owner’s life. The blunt truth is that too often owners never have the conversation. Life unfolds, and parents who are controlling shareholders become incapacitated and die. And then their family discovers that the owner has done what feels so utterly right: he or she has treated their children “fairly” and proceeded to gift, via the owner’s will, an equal number of shares to each child, irrespective of whether the children are working in the business or not. What unfolds next is unpredictable and often wealth destroying. Children working in the family business can find themselves reporting to their brothers and sisters outside the business. And too often children outside the business are disappointed with the dividend stream and clamor for more. Many children on the outside looking in assume that their siblings working in the business are overpaid – not because they know this to be true, but because they find themselves awash with emotion about what the business is, what it was and where it ought to go. Exceptional advisors force awkward conversations Advisors can play a hugely influential role in sparking the right conversation among the family about the sale of the business – when everyone is still healthy and thinking clearly. When the answer emerges that there is a buyer in the house, what a magnificent event for the […]
Are you accidentally putting your next generation at risk? by Family Wealth Coach No one wants to think that their successors would be in harm’s way of any kind, as a matter of fact, most leaders of family businesses are actively working to ensure that the next generation is not at risk. Who would want otherwise? But there are certain conversations that need to happen, or it can put the next generation at substantial risk. Let’s take a look at one of those conversations. Kelly Lector and Jennifer Pendergast, the authors of the book Roadmap, offer a thought that there is a single critical theme that must be handled properly, if a succession is going to be successful. That theme is Shared Vision. The overriding theme of the book is that it is critical to invest time and resources to develop a vision for the future of the family business, and it should be started sooner rather than later. But this kind of vision casting is often overlooked by business families for five great reasons: It’s not action oriented — it doesn’t seem practical and it seems like a waste of time It typically doesn’t solve a particular problem at hand Many families don’t know how to do it, what questions to ask, who should be involved, or who should lead it Sometimes there’s a fear of asking big questions in case stakeholders [including children in the business, sibling partners, etc.] have different answers They fear conflict – avoiding the conflict is much easier than facing it These are good reasons. Unfortunately, not facing them can put succession at risk. It’s better to clearly understand the motivations of all the constituents sooner, rather than later. What would happen if you reached a crucial moment in the succession, only to discover that someone has a completely different goal? If there is uncertainty in the business succession with the owners, it will affect all stakeholders. Clarity of vision helps ensure confidence for everyone involved. So what kind of questions would you ask if you wanted to arrive at a shared vision? Here is just a handful: What are we trying to be as a family? As individuals? As a business? How will we know when we’ve achieved it? Why is it important for us to own this asset together? Is it because it’s profitable? It keeps the family together? It is our heritage and our purpose? Under what conditions would you sell? Is it important that a family member lead the business? You may want to consider having some conversations with stakeholders, having a family meeting, surveying stakeholders, and becoming more prepared to take on hard questions. If your values, principles, and vision are aligned, you can likely have a shared vision and smoother continuity. If you have different values, different principles, and a different vision, perhaps you can’t follow the same purpose. We encourage you to start a process of continuity planning, not just succession planning. Succession implies […]
Enzo Calamo Is A Best Selling Author
Enzo Calamo is the Best Selling co-author of "How To Create Infinite Returns In Real Estate Using The Secret Asset: How To Recover All Business and Personal Expenses Using The Secret Asset" This is a must read for every affluent investor.
FAMILY OFFICE OF THE YEAR
Lugen Family Office was recognized as the Family Office of The Year in 2016 in Canada by Wealth and Finance International Magazine
Enzo Calamo Is A Gold Award Curator
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Lugen Family Office is the Most Trusted Online Curator on Legacy Planning, Wealth Management, Financial Literacy, Family Business, Philanthropy, Technology Trends, Healthy Living, and the UHNW.
ALL POSTS ARE CURATED BY ACTUAL EXPERTS!
Check out our 11 Gold Award UHNW Newswires.
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