Patricia Annino Needs Your Help With Her Next Estate Planning Book!

I am writing a new book on the traditional and new risks that the family and the family owned business face.

Traditional risks have included the unexpected death or disability of key stakeholders; incomplete or out of date estate planning documents; incomplete or out of date corporate documents;  the lack of liquidity; the lack of a disaster plan; the lack of effective communication among key stakeholders; major changes in the competitive environment; the divorce or remarriage of a key stakeholder; out of date business valuations; the absence of an effective family governance policy; and the lack of an awareness of the boundaries between family and business.

In addition to these traditional risks, families and family owned businesses now face new risks, including the lack of privacy in the Google world; cyber attacks; the social media risk to family reputation; global dispersion of family members and its impact on effective communication; new attacks on  business valuation; pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements; complex alimony calculations for the family business owner (taking phantom income into account); the baby boomer transfer of wealth; the speed of innovation; the impact of the increased working lifespan of the senior generation on succeeding generations; and the very turbulent economic times.

Over the next several months I will be asking you to provide me with questions, your stories, or areas of concern that would be most important to you through a polling system on this blog.  I would appreciate hearing any comments or thoughts you may have on these risks as I develop my book, so that I am able to provide the most up-to-date and beneficial areas of risk that would be helpful to you with your current or anticipated estate planning documents.

If you would like to share some of those questions or concerns now, please so do below.

Thank you Patricia Annino



  1. Patricia,

    Thanks so much for asking. Here are a few questions.

    How are parents involving children and even grand-children in the design of their estate plans so that estate planning is moving from something that is done from “on-high” to being down collaboratively across generations. What are benefits and drawbacks for this approach? What concerns do clients have with this approach and how can practitioners address these? (When the time comes, I have some stories to share if you are interested.)

    What makes the difference between successful and unsuccessful estate settlement(defined by everything from sowing deep family discord to outright ligation and well as the reduction of costs and efficient transfer of assets)

    What are the hallmarks of families that are “good” at “doing” both family and business?

    What are the most effective governance structures in G1-G2, G2-G3 and G3-G4 transfers that sustain both family and business.

  2. Brigitte Muehlmann says:

    These are great new topics.

    I would like to add:
    retirement living abroad
    foreign real estate ownership
    global disbursement of family members, signature authority on foreign accounts and reporting requirements

  3. Hi Patricia

    Great to see you are working on your next book – I’m envious of your energy and diligence in getting books out in these important areas. Couple thoughts on risks to family business in the current environment:
    Out of date trust designs or provisions that fail to account for modern life (1930s-1960s limitations on inheritance to certain religious or ethnic groups or bloodline issues that fail to accommodate global activities of heirs or new developments in nontraditional relationships)
    Risks to families from increased manager turnover/changes in wealth management industry that require the family to have good governance (possibly to get rid of an underperforming but locked-in wealth management firm) or at least to force transparency, better pricing, and/or accountability
    Always – the overspender
    I see speed of innovation and the rise of globalization as the two main modern factors, but I also think the changes in wealth management industry as a third less-discussed factor.

    We can talk more about any of these if you wish, with stories. Good luck on your book!


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