Talking it through: A guide to conducting multigenerational family meetings

Authored by the Merrill Center for Family WealthTM


Holding regular family meetings is an essential activity for wealthy families who want to thrive across generations. They are opportunities to focus on the family’s enterprises (the various assets that may be owned together by the family), set expectations, assess progress toward goals, make and adjust plans, and come to agreements. When family enterprises span two or more generations, it’s especially important to work together to develop an effective process for decision-making, manage expectations and create a culture of open communication.

Families who wish to thrive together over generations must exert effort to build trust, appropriately share information over time, and create a shared vision of the future. A critical element of this endeavor is for families to define the purpose of their wealth and to articulate the expectations and responsibilities that come with it.

This guide provides a framework for conducting effective family meetings about wealth, ultimately helping to answer key questions such as:

  • What’s the purpose of our wealth?
  • How should wealth be used in our family?
  • What can I expect from our family’s wealth?
  • What’s expected of me?
  • What does the wealth mean for our family — now and for future generations?
  • What does the wealth mean for our community?

If you’d like to explore how your family can put these helpful tips into practice, read the full report or contact your Merrill private wealth advisor, who can connect you with the Merrill Center for Family Wealth™.

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