Managing Estate Goals in The Family Business

12-9-14_managing_estate_goalsIn life there will be major goals, and supporting goals. Major goals should be set in the areas of business (including career, family business), finance (including family wealth), education (including what it means to the family and how it will be paid for), family (marriage, children, extended family), creativity (artistic, visionary interests), physical care (health and exercise), public service (issues of importance), faith (religious services, education and participation), and community (whether the community is local such as the town or city, or virtual through other connections).

These goals all connect with each other and when built together, create a sustainable family system grounded in the “true north values” – the course the family wants to go, as well as its ultimate destination and arrival time.

The goals should align with the fundamental values. For example, if the fundamental family values are entrepreneurism and a sense of family safety and if a major goal is to establish a profitable family business in the local community that will employ and support this generation and following generations, then each of the areas referenced above should be explored as part of the goal-setting process.

Goals will change as life and generations change. In some ways legacy goal setting (at the Meta level) is akin to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. However, at the foundational base are the true north values that each family has. The goals and objectives build from those values and plot the course for the future shaping of the legacy.

These goals will include financial safety and survival, and then when congruent with the true north values will lead to sustainability and perhaps affluence. Financial security or affluence may lead to a greater desire to take care of the community and world at large. Of course, for most families this is not linear; it is just that the emphasis shines on different phases at differing points. Many families know what their true north is, work hard, have faith, and give back to the community and world at large. It is just that the amount of emphasis placed on each sector changes as the need the sector faces changes.

Patricia Annino is a sought after speaker and nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning. She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about. Annino recently released her new book, “It’s More Than Money, Protect Your Legacy” available at To download Annino’s FREE eBook, Estate Planning 101 visit,

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