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Some Core Principles for Building a Legacy

To build a sustainable and positive family or business legacy, it is very important that the following key principles be incorporated into your dynastic planning  process:

1) The entire family must be involved in planning and NOT just the wealth-holder or business owner. The goal for a successful multi-generational family/business legacy is to plan “with” your family and not “at” your family.

2) The agenda for each family or family business meeting must be open to include the needs and concerns of all family members who are affected by the financial, estate, business, or legacy plan.

3) Part of the common mission for each family and business plan should be the indisputable realization that family members are the real assets and NOT the money or business.

4) Communication expectations for everyone must be setup upfront. For example,

  • Everyone has wisdom;
  • We need everyone’s wisdom for the wisest results;
  • All will hear and be heard;
  • There are no wrong answers;
  • The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

5) The best legacy solution is one that considers the needs of future generations. A legacy plan should focus on the perspective of family wealth and the family business for at least the next seven generations.

6) A Family Constitution should be created to help with the Governance of the Legacy plan. The goal here is not to dictate the future to family members but to establish guidelines for dealing with conflicts, new opportunities, in-laws, extended family member dreams, and the future complexity involved with the growth of family members into the third generation onward.

7) Structures, and committees, must be put in place for dealing with, and implementing, the financial, estate, business, and legacy plans.
Remember that a wealthy family or a profitable business cannot create a strong family but a united family with a common mission can build wealth and a sustainable and profitable family business.

 

Governance in Family Owned Enterprises Part I