Family Meetings: The Power of Conversation


Kim Ciccarelli Kantor

All families desire a common thread, and though difficult to identify where the need is greatest, families whose assets range between $5,000,000 and $20,000,000+ have a significant need. This is where the family can benefit from an approach to financial areas that can provide an enhancement to how they each address their own concerns
in planning. The difference between a cohesive or non-aligned plan can be significant.

By textbook definition, ultra high net worth families oftentimes have the money run for them by family offices or an assigned company or party, with each family member benefiting from an aligned plan for their inheritance or legacy. This is not true however for most families, who are not considered “ultrawealthy” by financial terms, but have been successful in achieving wealth. They generally have respectfully developed assets and a financial security, but do so by seeking their own separate guidance.

Historically bridging the many tools available under an aligned interest has not been top of mind. Planning benefits can be collectively designed to enhance each family member’s planning in a confidential, individualistic way as a member of the family group.

The family meeting has helped families bridge an otherwise unmet need for education, trust planning, healthy money discussions and knowledge transfer. Serving multiple family members can help bring harmony in an otherwise difficult situation. There is a need for parents to have conversations about money, family values and the future. A family meeting offers an opportunity to discuss critical issues that can impact today and future generations. When families are empowered to discuss more than money, there is an opportunity to build stronger family cohesiveness, especially prior to a crisis or critical life change such as health issues or death. Family history can be shared and many can be enlightened about how family members evolve their values and plans. This leaves a meaningful mark. Family meetings are to a family, what a strategic planning meeting is to a company. And as our family facilitator stresses, preparation is the key to a successful outcome. Individual interviews can be accomplished by an outside facilitator so that all have input and can identify with the goal of bringing the family together.

Objectives can be to work on keeping the family together, providing a common interest platform for otherwise geographically diverse families such as a philanthropic family fund, sustaining the innate value of the family legacy, sharing the areas you wish to pass on to younger generations regarding your insight or experiences that shaped your thinking, and with all this in mind, setting the expectations and responsibilities for the family members. All inheritances or gifts are important, regardless of
size. Don’t let your family be a part of the normal statistics where over 70 percent of an asset transfer is lost by the second generation and more than 90 percent by the third¹…. forming the old saying “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” Most people are simply inexperienced to handle a large sum directed to them in a disciplined way unless they have been prepared properly and have a “vision” of their wealth responsibility. Best of planning to you, most of all, seek advice as your family and your planning is the bridge that allows you to cross the gorge. ¹Source:

Kim Ciccarelli Kantor, CFP® CAP™ is president
and co-founder of Ciccarelli Advisory Services Inc., a
Family Focused Wealth Management Firm in Florida
and New York.
Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc. is located at 9601
Tamiami Trail North, Naples, FL (239.262.6577)
Investment advisory services offered through
Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment
adviser independent of FSC Securities Corporation.
Securities and additional investment advisory services
offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member
FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment adviser.
The views expressed in this newsletter may not reflect
the views of FSC Securities Corporation

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