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Should We Have a Family Meeting?

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SUMMARY

Well-planned family meetings can be a core component to helping families preserve their wealth over multiple generations and can lead to greater chances of long-term success.

Occasional gatherings during the holidays or meetings involving only the decision makers of the family typically do not bring the same results as family meetings involving a broader group and focused agenda. Family meetings that breed success directly address opportunities and challenges, encourage open communication, and provide education for younger generations.

Time and effort spent in preparation for family meetings can be critical to their success. This paper provides advice on how to plan for and structure regular family meetings. Topics include:

  • Who to invite
  • How to successfully manage the meeting to allow for all to contribute
  • How to minimize conflict and set ground rules
  • How to incorporate activities that build goodwill and represent who you are as a family

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Family meetings are one of the crucial means of preserving the family assets and family values for generations to come.
  • Regular family meetings provide a forum for sharing news, concerns, opportunities, and challenges in an open and direct way.
  • One of the crucial ingredient for a well-run family meeting is skillful management of the process.
  • The family’s current needs and state of development determines the frequency of meetings – quarterly, semiannually, or annually.

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