The First Five Steps to Plan a Family Meeting

Question: What percentage of families face communication challenges, or have issues they have swept under the rug, or have heirs who are not fully prepared to inherit?
Answer: 100%

When the patriarch and matriarch are gone, those issues cause many families to unravel. The solution is to face the issues head-on. The way to do that is by holding regular family meetings where the generations come together to connect and learn. Having a strong, interconnected family provides individuals with critical support to confront life’s challenges, recover from obstacles, and thrive.

The hardest step is to plan the first family meeting. People just don’t know how to get started. Fortunately, there are advisors who are trained to guide you through the process. Don’t try to go it alone. At The Blum Firm, we have resources to help you identify the advisor who will be the right fit for your family. For optimum results, the patriarch and matriarch need to be participants at the meeting and not lead it. Leading the meeting, moderating the conversation, objectively (and delicately) addressing the “hot issues”—that’s the job for a trained facilitator.

So here’s the way to get started:

  • Step 1: Select an advisor to guide the family meeting process.
  • Step 2: Identify the family members who need to attend the meeting.
  • Step 3: Decide on a mutually convenient time.
  • Step 4: Choose the location. Note: COVID has taught us that we can even do the meeting virtually, by zoom (“Brady Bunch” style), making scheduling a lot easier.
  • Step 5: The facilitator conducts a pre-meeting interview with each participant to set expectations and identify hot button issues.

In our next email, we’ll dive into Step Six—creating the agenda for the first meeting. Hint: The first topic won’t be to discuss money. Stay tuned!

Marvin E. Blum