When we meet a new family, there’s often a key shift in play. The kids – now emerging adults – are stepping into a phase of finding their own identity. Yet just as they begin to stretch and individuate, the family wealth can cast a shadow over their individual growth, bonding them back to permission and approval.
In essence, the wealth creates ties to the family just when it’s most important for emerging adults to find their freedom. Meanwhile parents are grappling with the age-old questions: what to disclose and when, when to say yes vs. no. And most importantly, how do you communicate all of this in a manner that enhances family unity instead of creating discord, and that motivates heirs instead of entitling them. The combination of factors creates a confusing landscape; one for which families of wealth often lack positive precedence.
Wealth is a magnifying glass on top of normal family dynamics. It can become a wedge that works its way into relationships, or a ladder for self-leadership. How can individual family members explore their individuality without separating from the family system? And how can the family system support both the freedoms and the alignment the parents often crave?
The families we meet wish to explore this uncharted territory, and create an intentional landscape around these powerful issues. However, most have never found a forum to hear themselves think and explore these issues deeply – and to do so at three key layers: individually, together as a couple and then as a family system.
"I’ve worked with Kristin with many families of wealth and have found her unique approach and skill set to be extremely valuable. She easily engages across multiple generations, is a skilled and deep listener, and is one of the most collaborative people I’ve ever met. As a result , she meets families where they are at and develops a customized solution to meet the specific needs of the family. The tools she uses opens up her clients’ minds to see things from a new perspective, to develop a greater awareness of who they are and what their strengths are, to build an awareness of how special the other members of the family are, and to develop an enhanced ability to communicate and work together."
Tim Belber—JD, AEP, Family Advisor