Family governance

We understand the natural tendency for wealth to be dissipated after three generations unless a structure and a process are put in place to preserve it. Ultra high net worth families cannot expect to create a dynasty simply by setting up a trust.

The successful transition of wealth from one generation to the next is critical.  For those families with significant wealth, there may or may not be a family office in place to help achieve this transition.  We can advise on the options for establishing family offices but we can also help formulate family governance and dynastic planning.

Whether the holding vehicle for a family's wealth is a company, trust or other entity, we can help identify the core values for a family. 

This can include decisions in principle on:

  • how to run the family business
  • how to identify heirs in successive generations
  • how to provide for other children
  • whether spouses should benefit
  • how wealth is to be invested and distributed
  • how to minimise tax.

Family governance can be addressed in a single document, such as a family charter between members that sets out the common goals or it can be reflected in a more complex series of steps including private trust company structures, family councils and advisory boards, shareholders' agreements, articles of association and trust resolutions to document the principles.

Our team have experience of a variety of approaches to governance and dynastic planning and can help determine which is best for any particular family to control the devolution of family wealth from one generation to the next.

Our expertise covers UK families and international families and institutions particularly in the US, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Switzerland, Russia and Europe.  We understand the important cultural issues in the jurisdictions in which our clients operate and have a breadth of experience which enables us to recognise and avoid situations where family conflict can lead to wealth dissipation.

The structures that we help create represent the most sophisticated and unique wealth solutions available and employ the most up-to-date legal and commercial thinking.


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