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The Family Wealth Sustainability Toolkit: The Manual by Fran Lotery, Fredda Herz Brown

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FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ACROSS GENERATIONS

Generational concerns are an important aspect of financial accountability and responsibility. The goal of sustainability has to be one that all generations buy into. On the one hand, sustainability focuses on the future and the youth of the family. On the other, it can be incumbent on elder family members to model appropriate values, such as understanding the balance between wants and actual needs.

It's valuable for families to start early, inculcating the concept of need versus want among future generations. Children benefit from being able to differentiate one from the other, in order to develop a sense of responsibility rather than entitlement. When entitlement begins to take root in a family enterprise, its effects can be enormously destructive.

So, how does a family go about instilling a sense of financial responsibility throughout its culture? By assuring that all members of the family are not only informed, but also appropriately and actively engaged in decisions regarding the finances of the enterprise. Members may participate actively in the governance or organizational meetings and structures the family has put in place. They may be afforded opportunities to contribute to developmentally appropriate decision making that will ultimately affect them and future generations within the enterprise.

The Dade family decided that beginning at 12 years old, each of the next generation would participate in a financial camp in which ...

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