KNOWLEDGE CENTER

Knowledge Center Archive

Mar
18
2010

Should We Hold a Family Meeting?

By SEI Private Wealth Management

We are frequently asked by clients about family meetings and whether they are worth the effort. At SEI Private Wealth Management, we believe that an important step in effective wealth management is defining your goals for self, family and community. A family meeting is an effective way to share your goals with your family and lay the groundwork for an enduring family legacy. While the agenda for a family meeting can range from simple wealth education to major family decisions, the outcome is usually the same -- a productive, enjoyable gathering that becomes a family tradition.

Getting Focused

Family meetings can be used for different purposes. The most important question is “What do you want to achieve with your family meeting?” Consider whether you want to achieve one or more of the following for your family:

  • Educate children concerning your intent and estate plan
  • Educate children to handle wealth responsibly
  • Identify and share family history and values
  • Develop a family mission statement
  • Get children more involved in philanthropy
  • Clarify roles, rights and responsibilities of family members

Getting Ready

Agenda: Once you decide what you want to achieve with a family meeting, it is important to set a clear agenda to advance your goals. The agenda could include the establishment of ground rules for listening, talking, and ensuring a productive, respectful discussion. The chosen topics should encourage the participants to share their thoughts and contribute to the discussion.

Time, Place and People: The meeting can be as formal or informal as you desire. It is important to consider the circumstances of each family member and pick a time and place that is convenient for all. A neutral location, such as a resort or club, is an attractive option. Consider making the meeting a special event that allows for recreation and shared time in addition to business. How often will you hold a family meeting? Is it appropriate to include spouses of children? Should teenagers be included in discussions of family philanthropy? Will experts such as investment advisors, lawyers or accountants add value to the discussion?

How We Can Help: At SEI Private Wealth Management, we have extensive experience helping families with family meetings. We can help you identify the purpose of your family meeting, develop an effective agenda, arrange meeting logistics and compile meeting materials. We can also perform pre-meeting interviews with family members, if desired, to help set the agenda. Finally, we can help facilitate your meeting, providing the education and resources you need. Please contact your Personal Business Manager to begin the process of setting up your personalized family meeting.

##

Neither SEI nor its affiliates provide tax advice. Please note that (i) any discussion of U.S. tax matters contained in this communication cannot be used by you for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties; (ii) this communication was written to support the promotion or marketing of the matters addressed herein: and (iii) you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

There are risks involved with investing, including loss of principal.

SEI Private Wealth Management, formerly SEI Wealth Network, is an umbrella name for various life and wealth services offered by SEI Investments Management Corporation (SIMC). SIMC is a wholly owned subsidiary of SEI Investments Company.

© SEI Investments Developments, Inc. All rights reserved. Content originally published at www.seic.com.