Febert & Associates Family Meetings

Family Meetings

The coordination and management of regularly scheduled periodic family meetings is extremely effective in not only developing lines of communication between family members and advisors, but it is also a great way to start educating and developing the skills and capabilities of the younger family members. The meetings are usually scheduled one to four times per year and are used as a forum to discuss family history, current projects, planning ideas and the progress towards the family’s long-term goals and objectives. This provides an invaluable opportunity not only for the family members to clearly communicate their goals and objectives to one another and to their advisors, but also for the team of professional advisors to communicate with one another to insure that everyone is working toward the same common goals using the best practices available without any duplication of efforts.

The meetings typically last from 2 hours to an entire day, and they are developed in cooperation with the family members in order to identify the key issues and high priority topics. By meeting on a regular periodic basis, the entire family stays informed and relationships are developed between the advisors and family members that will be critical, especially as the family evolves and younger family members assume leadership roles and positions of responsibility within the family. The family meetings address two of the major causes for wealth transition failures: a lack of communication and trust among family members, and inadequately prepared heirs¹.

As the family meetings evolve, a recreational component can be added to further facilitate the development of relationships between family members and advisors. With the busy schedules of many family members, these meetings sometimes offer the only opportunity for them to gather together as a family in one common location.

(1) Preparing Heirs, Roy Williams and Vic Preisser (2003)