Communicating about Legacy

An elderly patriarch and matriarch with significant wealth knew that they had not clearly informed their children and grandchildren of the extent of their wealth or their wishes for its disposition. Through consultations with Wise Counsel, they clarified their desired legacy, which informed a revision of their estate plans. We also worked with them to organize a family meeting at which they shared their proposed plans with their adult children for their input. Based on their input, the mother and father completed the revision of their plans and then shared their overall intentions with their entire family at a second family meeting that we helped plan and facilitate.

Engaging the Rising Generation

A close-knit family was concerned about the effect of their significant wealth on their children and grand-children. Wise Counsel worked with their family office to help clarify the family's shared values, family history, and their parents' concerns. In dialogue with parents, we created a development plan for each child. As a result, members of the rising generation engaged much more actively in family meetings, feeling that they truly had a voice.

Dr. Keith Whitaker of Wise Counsel Research Associates is the most impressive new thinker in our space.

— Bruce Weatherill, Chairman, ClearView Financial Media


Selling a Family-Owned Business

The fourth and fifth generations of a family including over ten households owned the majority of a Fortune 500 company. Their family office contacted us because several family members wished to diversify out of this concentrated position. Wise Counsel consulted with family leaders to identify personal and family goals and shared family values; we also helped the family decide on the public relations messages and necessary changes to their family governance that a sale would require. Based on this work, the sale was consummated with the family remaining connected and using their new governance structure to decide together how best to deploy their ten-figure gain.

Establishing a Private Trust Company

A prominent family wanted to transition thousands of family trusts from individual trustees to a family-controlled private trust company. The legal plans were in place, but the family office wanted to make sure that the resulting structure promoted family harmony and individual initiative. Wise Counsel produced a statement of the family's history and values to integrate into the new trust company's founding documents. We also designed an educational program to prepare family members and the trust company's non-family managers to understand the purposes of the new entity and its connections to the family's deepest beliefs.