Our Secret Fears Part 2

David Lansky
David Lansky

In a previous post I discussed some of the fears that accompany family wealth.

Many families do a great job navigating the complexities of wealth – so, what differentiates these families from those who have a more difficult time? Overcoming fears that lead to isolation and developing problem solving skills are essential.  But once the secrets and the dilemmas of wealth are acknowledged, the advice of Charles Collier (Wealth in Families, 2002) can be helpful.

According to Collier, the best practices of families who successfully manage the dilemmas of wealth include:

  1.        They focus on the human intellectual and social capital of their family.
  2.        They stress the priority of each family member’s individual pursuit of happiness.
  3.        They work on enhancing intra-family communication.
  4.        Their timeframe for determining success is long-term.
  5.        They tell and retell the family’s most important stories.
  6.        They create mentor-like relationships when establishing family trusts.
  7.        There is a collaboratively defined family vision statement.
  8.        They teach children and grandchildren the competencies and responsibilities that come with financial wealth.
  9.        They work in getting to really know each family member.
  10.        They give their younger family members as much responsibility as they can manage as soon as possible.

No family can achieve all of these goals, but acknowledging the need, and making the attempt, will bring rewards for a lifetime.

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