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This chapter is from the book

We Are Stewards, Not Owners, of Our Wealth

As the Lucas family wrestles with the work of strategic wealth management, several things have happened.

We have begun to see ourselves not as owners of our wealth, but as stewards of it. We spoke of the drifting apart of various branches of the Stuart family after Carnation’s sale and agreed we didn’t want our family to fracture further. So we decided to reverse the splintering of the Lucas family assets and, together, manage our inherited wealth so that the bulk of it is passed on to future generations, along with the skills and governance to manage it wisely.

We decided to base future wealth management decisions and strategies on core family and individual values. Why focus on values first? Values help to define family purpose and to construct a framework for establishing your wealth management priorities.

We realized it was critical to foster family harmony, strong communications, and wealth management leadership. Wealth management and wealth creation are difficult, distinct tasks. They require high-order management and leadership competencies, whether the preponderance of your assets are concentrated in one family business or diversified in a portfolio of financial assets. We recognized that effective governance was critical to the successful long-term management of our family’s assets, and you will also.

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