Estate Planning Peacemakers

Opiela, Nancy
October 2003
Journal of Financial Planning;Oct2003, Vol. 16 Issue 10, p34
Academic Journal
This article shares the stories of planners active in estate planning and offers strategies to deal with the most common stresses in family relationships, from struggles over the family business to problems with second marriages. If there is a blanket statement to describe relationships around a family business, it is that there is great potential for normal conflicts between parents and children to be magnified. Another dynamic that causes a rift in families is when one child is involved in the family business and the other is not. To keep the family posted on an evolving business game plan, Steve Merdinger of Financial Strategy Network, advocates periodic family meetings. There are also plenty of conflicts among siblings. Increasingly, planners are offering to host a family meeting to resolve conflicts such as these. In addition to the family meeting, Paula F. de Vos of Catalyst Wealth Management LLC, note that some families choose to run weekend-long retreats. On the other side of the family meeting issue, Phillip Banks of Banks and Banks Fiduciary Services, cautions planners about having clients and their heirs sitting across a table. Finally, Phillip Banks suggests an idea planners should consider that may help the family avoid future conflict.


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