Family Office Foundation

Unite your family members in passing on your values to the next generation,
moving from success to significance, and leaving a meaningful legacy


Every family passing along wealth or control over assets to the next generation should have annual family meetings to review success. Clients with more than $1,000,000 of assets passing to the next generation often have a variety of legal, tax, and investment issues that need to be communicated to the next generation. Such communications are most effective in family meetings that affirm family relationships and illustrate how technical planning details foster deeper relationships. Ideally, each family meeting should be led by an adviser who understands the family’s relational dynamics as well as the technical issues related to transferring ownership, cash flow, control or management responsibility to the next generation.

Hypothetical Result

  • Develop a strong sense of family unity
  • Inspire each family member to pursue a calling
  • Establish clear leadership and succession structures
  • Help family members understand their responsibilities and likely rewards related to upholding the family's values

Family Meeting Process and Benefits

Robert Frost's wrote, "Good fences make good neighbors." This wisdom applies when families have shared economic interests. All stakeholders typically crave clarity about their ownership rights and responsibilities. They need to know how their current work will be rewarded and their future share in the business management and ownership will be consistent with expectations. Family meetings help facilitate discussions about reasonable boundaries (fences) when family members depend on each other for success.

A good family meeting differs from a business meeting or board/shareholder meeting in several key ways. The board and shareholder meetings tend to focus on mission and fulfillment of quantified objectives. Business meetings tend to focus on executing directives from the board. Family meetings are unique in because they:

  1. Foster a spirit of unity by inviting all family members to the meetings, even when they are not involved in the family business
  2. Affirm stories about past successes of family leaders who inspire future performance
  3. Focus on affirming the vision and value that have contributed to success
  4. Celebrate family successes and traditions
  5. Remind each person that the family cares about his/her calling, purpose statement, and career path
  6. Inspire a renewed commitment to character ideals and core values
  7. 695 Town Center Drive 7th Floor
    Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    800.447.7090 Office
    714.384.6580 Direct
    866.447.7090 Fax
  8. Create a balance between the family leadership and business leadership
  9. Articulate expectations in a way that can be reflected in legal documents
  10. Educate the next generation on money management principles through growing involvement in investment, charitable giving, and budgetary decisions
  11. Teach peacemaking and conflict resolution skills.
  12. Provide training about estate planning and business succession structures
  13. Prepare all family members to identify, equip, elect, and empower a family leader

Three Aspects of Family Meetings
Fun Answer icebreaker questions and/or participate in "funmeister" activities
Affirmation Review family videos and otherwise celebrate success
Business Help Stakeholders understand their present and expected participation in business success