The Why of Intentional Philanthropy

Most people learn at a young age that it feels good to give to others. Many people have been taught by parents, teachers, or mentors that “it is better to give than to receive.” Some people attach a moral or spiritual significance to giving. However, the act of giving itself can be quite complex, involving […]

Health Care Considerations in Estate Planning

Most people think of an estate plan as a legal solution for financial matters. However, health care considerations are incredibly important to any estate plan.  Health care considerations will help you and your loved ones decide what to do when you may be incapacitated by illness or age, but not deceased. Life spans have increased due […]

7 Books for Every Family Office

There are a number of books that address the unique ecosystem of the family office. Any discussion of family office administration has to consider the complex relationships between elder and rising generations, trustees and beneficiaries, advisors and family members. The following books are not the only books on the subject, nor are they ranked in […]

How to Form a Private Trust Company 

Many ultra-high-net-worth families have heard of the benefits of establishing a private trust company to serve as trustee of their trusts. (We prefer “private family trust company” or “PFTC”) . However, they might not understand the nuanced best practices on forming a PFTC. This blog explores some of the legal and structural issues that families […]

4 Steps to a Family Governance and Education Program

What is Family Governance & Education? Family governance and education are two key and related components of an effective family office. They serve as the foundation for responsible stewardship of wealth, preservation of family values, and transmission of wealth from one generation to the next. These services help ensure that families flourish across generations. Failure […]

Revocable Living Trusts: What to Know

What Do Revocable Living Trusts Do? A revocable living trust (RLT) allows individuals to avoid probate and plan for incapacity. By itself, a revocable living trust does not provide asset protection or estate tax benefits. However, revocable living trusts can serve as the foundation for an estate plan that uses these irrevocable trusts. Trusts generally […]

Building a Positive Wealth Identity

“The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.” –Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1.5 Introduction What is the feeling that you most associate with the word “money”–excitement, fear, anxiety, or something else? Does money make you happy? […]

How to Avoid 4 Estate Planning Pitfalls

In 1973, the artist Pablo Picasso died with an estate worth $100-$250M and no estate plan. The ensuing battle over his estate lasted six years and cost $30M. This was good for lawyers and not so good for Picasso’s descendants! Unfortunately, Picasso’s estate is just one example of a common problem. Many people either do […]

9 Ways to Build “Heroic Wealth”

How do you measure your wealth? Most of us immediately think about bank accounts, investments, or real estate. Thinking more broadly, we might include skills we’ve acquired, a social network, and health. In fact, all of these are equally valid definitions of wealth. Wealth is really what makes us flourish as human beings. That includes […]