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Family Wealth Transition Planning: Advising Families with Small Businesses

ISBN: 978-1-57660-335-2
368 pages
August 2009
Family Wealth Transition Planning: Advising Families with Small Businesses (1576603350) cover image
Managing the transition of family wealth from generation to generation is a daunting task. Families with businesses require inheritance plans that are even more complicated because wealth and worth are often intricately woven into the business. And many transition plans focus only on financial capital and ignore a family’s less tangible assets. Other plans detail the intrinsic elements of an inheritance without satisfying the practical issues.  

In Family Wealth Transition Planning, Bonnie Brown Hartley and Gwendolyn Griffith guide advisers to families with small businesses through the intricate process of preparing and transferring wealth to heirs. The authors take a holistic view of transition planning, focusing on the assets that fall under the umbrella of financial capital, as well as the other key sources of family wealth: human and social capital.

Advisers learn the essentials to achieving successful wealth continuity:
  • Healthy family relationships
  • Responsible stewardship of wealth, in all forms
  • Creation and preservation of the family legacy

Throughout the book, three fictionalized business families, based on Hartley's experience as an adviser, tell their personal stories as they navigate the estate planning process.  In this way, Hartley and Griffith demonstrate how to develop wealth transition plans that are wide enough in scope to encompass all forms of wealth yet customized to manage each family's different needs.

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Foreword by James E. Hughes Jr.  

Introduction. 

Chapter 1   Family Wealth Continuity.
Chapter 2   The Adviser’s Role.
Chapter 3   The Family Wealth System.
Chapter 4   Components and Connections.
Chapter 5   Cycles of Change and Equilibrium.
Chapter 6   Patterns of Wealth Behavior.
Chapter 7   The External Environment.
Chapter 8   Wealth Transition Structures.
Chapter 9   Governance Systems.
Chapter 10  Role Clarity and Development.
Chapter 11  Transitions of Wealth in the Williams Family.
Chapter 12  Transitions of Wealth in the Hernández Family.
Chapter 13  Transitions of Wealth in the Marshall Family.
Chapter 14  The Family Wealth Transition Planning Adviser’s Practice.  

Index.
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Bonnie Brown Hartley, President of Transition Dynamics Inc, works primarily on governance systems and life-long learning systems for client families.  She works with family offices, multi-generational business families and their businesses on mapping and implementing transition plans.  As part of that process, she mentors multi-generational families and their advisers on communication and relationship management.  

Hartley has published four Fire Drill books for building strength and flexibility in families:  Sudden Death, Unexpected Wealth, The Dynamics of Aging Families and Health Care Issues of Aging Families (the latter two with co-author John Gibson).  Hartley speaks internationally to business families and their advisers.  

Hartley serves on the Attorneys for Family Enterprise board. She is a past Family Firm Institute board member, a founding FFI Fellow, and holds FFI’s Certificates in Family Business Advising and Family Wealth Advising.  In 2008 she was honored by FFI for contributions to interdisciplinary adviser teams.  She is also a member of a national think-tank, Psycho-Social Dynamics of Family Business, and the Collaboration for Family Flourishing.

Gwendolyn Griffith is Of Counsel at the Portland, Oregon law firm of Tonkon Torp LLP, where her business and tax practice includes business formations, reorganizations and dissolutions, as well as the crafting of complex wealth transition structures and governance systems.  She has substantial experience representing nonprofit organizations and multi-generational businesses.  Gwen is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Rollins College.

Gwen began her career with Akin, Gump in Dallas, Texas.  She then taught corporate, partnership, individual and international tax at various law schools, including Willamette University, Florida State University, and the University of Oregon.  Prior to joining Tonkon Torp LLP, Gwen was a shareholder in the Eugene, Oregon law firm of Speer Hoyt PC. She is the author of several books on taxation and is frequent speaker on tax and business-related topics.  

Gwen is a member of the Oregon and California bar associations. She is on the Executive Committee of the Oregon State Bar Taxation Section and is also on the Advisory Board of The Tax Adviser, the monthly publication of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She is also a trained mediator and arbitrator.
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