The Dilemmas of Family Wealth: Insights on Succession, Cohesion, and Legacy

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Few families are able to pass along their wealth successfully to the next generation. The barriers to keeping money in the family are much more formidable than the barriers to making money in the first place. Why should this be? What pitfalls are most common? How can families and their advisers increase the odds of a successful intergenerational transfer of wealth? How can they preserve the family?s human and intellectual capital?

Judy Martel, CFP?, provides insightful answers ...

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Few families are able to pass along their wealth successfully to the next generation. The barriers to keeping money in the family are much more formidable than the barriers to making money in the first place. Why should this be? What pitfalls are most common? How can families and their advisers increase the odds of a successful intergenerational transfer of wealth? How can they preserve the family’s human and intellectual capital?

Judy Martel, CFP®, provides insightful answers to these questions and dozens more in this richly detailed book. The Dilemmas of Family Wealth takes a fresh look at the communications barriers, misunderstandings, and generational conflicts that can pull families apart and scatter their wealth in far less time than it took to build it. Martel identifies the dilemmas that families are likely to face and offers wise counsel for overcoming the challenges they pose. Her book includes advice and perspectives from top experts in the field and frank first-person experiences related by family members with whom they have worked.

From firsthand interviews with families of significant means and gathered wisdom of the experts in the field, the author--a Certified Financial Planner--details the most common "family busters" in story format based on real families and offers expert advice on solutions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576601907
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Series: Bloomberg Series , #23
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 222
  • Sales rank: 1,472,925
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy Martel, CFP®, is a vice president at Asset Management Advisors (AMA), a leading multifamily office and subsidiary of SunTrust Banks, Inc. Martel has twenty years of experience in journalism and public relations. She was a newspaper journalist for eleven years, and she has written extensively on wealth issues and family dynamics for such publications as Robb Report Worth, Town & Country, and Vive magazine where she writes a regular column. She is a certified financial planner. 

The book’s foreword is by James E. Hughes Jr., author of Family Wealth: Keeping It in the Family (Bloomberg Press). His foreword offers the perspective of a respected longtime family counselor and a preeminent expert in the field of family governance and wealth transfer.

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Table of Contents

About the Contributors.

Part One: Transitions and Letting Go.

1     Succession and Letting Go of a Business.
Dilemma: It’s time to plan for succession, but I don’t know how to let go of the business.

2     Keeping Future Generations Connected.
Dilemma: I sold my business at the right time and have more than enough to take care of my family, but I feel alone and uncomfortable in my new position of wealth. What do I do with my time, and how do I preserve a connection with the family wealth in subsequent generations?

3     Future Wealth Generators.
Dilemma: As the family grows, the original fortune is not enough to support everyone. How can I support and encourage future wealth generators to add to the family coffers?

Part Two: Retaining Family Cohesiveness.

4     Keeping the Family Together.
Dilemma: I want the wealth to enhance our dreams, but don’t want it to be the only reason we stay together.

5     Integrating New Family Members.
Dilemma: As new members come into the clan through marriage, how do I level the playing field if one partner is less wealthy, and what value do certain structures like prenuptial agreements offer me?

Part Three: Preparing Heirs.

6     Preparing Children and Grandchildren.
Dilemma: I need to prepare my children and grandchildren for the responsibility of wealth, but I’m afraid that if they know too much, it will destroy any initiative to earn a living. How do I communicate this concern?

7     Fairness in Estate Planning.
Dilemma: I plan to be fair to my children, but if I leave them unequal amounts of money, am I setting up a future battleground?

8     Strategic Philanthropy.
Dilemma: I want to give some of my wealth back to society, but how can I do it without my children thinking I’ve given away their inheritance, and in a manner that will reflect our values and enhance the family legacy?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2007

    A reviewer

    Before soap operas, people could follow the rise and fall of actual famous families¿ fortunes. The soaps borrowed heavily from the sagas of wealthy families, stories with the essential elements of any good drama: money, nepotism, jealousy, decadence and conflict. Family businesses are the world's most popular form of corporate ownership, yet few family businesses make it past the second generation. Judy Martel offers case histories and aptly describes the problems associated with family fortunes, but tends to fall short of fully explaining solutions. She repeats some remedies often, such as forming a ¿family council.¿ And, some remedies seem slight, such as ways to resolve differences over sharing a summer house. We appreciate Martel¿s emphasis on family values, while wishing this book¿s solutions were all as solid as the fascinating problems it describes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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