This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Practical tips My interviews were a treasure trove of information, but I failed to identify any consistent patterns or rhythms. Each family and circumstance unique. However, here are my top tips (again in no order).


Considering these may help you as you develop your own strategy:


All conversations should evolve Conversations should evolve according to age, maturity and family dynamics. Mum and dad going through a divorce with children in their teens will be a very different discussion. The child who is a dancer will require a different conversation than the child studying accountancy. Here are some excerpts: “If you don’t talk about wealth, it can become a


big shock. The discussion should evolve so children can learn. That way, when the full extent of wealth is revealed, it’s not a big deal.” – a wealth inheritor. “Children are all about immediacy … They just aren’t


thinking long-term yet.” – a father with older children. “I observe rich friends whose children are waiting for them to die.” – a matriarch.


Observe the children’s ledgers Children keep ledgers in their minds. Financial and non-financial. Anyone with siblings will be able to recall, instantly, perceived favouritism by the parents towards a brother or sister even 50 years later. “If you have favouritism, it breeds disunity. And if you


cover it up, and it is later discovered without a process to even it up, it is a death wish.” – A middle child (one of seven children). I absolutely recommend transparency when it


comes to major gifts and loans to children, preferably via formal accounting ledger records. Children will have an awareness of ‘who got what and when’ and if your estate plan does not include a process to equalise the financial ledgers, you are unduly exposing your estate to a legal challenge.


If you have a well-known name in your community, the conversation must start sooner A young father with a famous name said to me that his young son arrived home from primary school frustrated that he couldn’t explain to his friends why his family was famous. The fact is the family is famous because they are so rich. A third generation member of a very successful


business family confessed he found it much harder growing up. His friends would always say that everything was easy for him, that he had nothing to worry about because he was rich. He grew up thinking he would have to find a cure for cancer to be treated seriously by his peers. It is much harder for ‘rich’ children to build


meaningful and trusted relationships in life and this starts from a very young age. Sure, everyone will want to be their friend, but for the wrong reasons.


82 FAMILY OFFICE: THE FUTURE


Start conversations around family history Any education should encompass passing on your values to your children. Start the conversation around important elements of family history which help to give value to the wealth and the pride you have in the family name and reputation in the community. If there is a business, take them for a visit to the factory, introduce them to staff as Mr Jones and Mrs Smith to show you have respect for everyone. Point out real estate that you own, how you came to acquire it and the struggles when interest rates were high that almost forced you to sell. Talk about family values before you talk about family


wealth. Having said that, not all agree… “Communicating your vision/philosophy is a double


edged sword … Yes, it helps children to value the wealth, but it can also be too much pressure. They might drop out feeling they can never live up to your expectations.” –a patriarch who grew up with wealth.


Conversations should evolve according to age, maturity and family dynamics.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112