The UHNW Institute’s July Theme: Estate Planning, Governance & Decision-Making

Each month, The UHNW Institute identifies a specific industry theme to emphasize. Now, with Summer in full swing, we will step back and consider big picture plans in July by highlighting and producing content and programming focused on Estate Planning, Governance & Decision-Making for members to explore this month to broaden their comprehension of this ever-important industry topic.

All monthly themes can be found in the 2023 Programming Calendar here.

Whether at the family, firm or organizational level, we all can benefit from re-examining the facets of this theme from the 30,000-foot view. To start the process, we have some great resources below to devour before our upcoming roundtable, Guiding from the Grave: Using Letters of Wishes to Communicate Client Intent, on Thursday, July 20The Letter of Wishes is a non-binding document to help fiduciaries or others interpret and administer trusts and other estate planning instruments, clarifying the creator’s intentions, even from beyond the grave.

As with most of our themes, this topic spans multiple domains, including health and well-being, family dynamics, estate planning and legal issues and more. In addition to our events, we have selected the following resources related to Estate Planning, Governance and Decision-Making for members to explore this month to broaden their comprehension of this ever-important industry topic.

  1. Podcast by Wealth of Wisdom– Episode 58 Featuring Josh Kanter – Creating a Family Owner’s Manual

In this episode of the Wealth of Wisdom podcast series, co-editor Tom McCullough interviews family, business and legal consultant Josh Kanter. Tom and Josh discuss Josh’s chapter – Creating a Family Owner’s Manual – and how this practice can help track key family information, identify blind spots, and educate family members and advisors.

  1. Article by Imaan Moughal – Trusts & Estates – The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Future of Estate Planning

This easy-to-follow article demonstrates how Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies are changing the way legal drafting is done.  The author weighs benefits against limitations and allays common fears that AI will replace lawyers– while suggesting that legal teams should prepare that they will soon be working alongside AI.  The author provides clear examples of how to use technologies, such as AI and NLP, beyond the legal realm, making this worthwhile reading for all wealth professionals.

  1. Article by Elizabeth K. Miller – Trust & Estates – Urge Clients to Create a Transition Plan

This article provides a clear concise summary of five key elements that aging clients should have in place in case of significant disability or death. It serves as another checklist of reminders to have these conversations with clients and to put backup plans together.

  1. Advanced Article by Charlie Grace – Cambridge Associates – Investment Governance: Creating a Framework that Works for a Family

This is an excellent article for families looking to bring more order, discipline and effectiveness to their investment process. It highlights the key building blocks of investment governance – people, authority and process – and outlines practical tips and best practices that families can put into place.

  1. Fundamental Article by David Karofsky – Family Business Consulting Group – Boards and Family Businesses: What Could Go Wrong?

Setting up a family enterprise board is not just a solution – it is a further step in the development of governance and the family system. Boards don’t automatically overcome internal family competition; family members must face deeper conflicts and organize the board, so family issues don’t undercut its effectiveness. This article presents three vivid insightful situations where families had to work together with their boards to make ownership and governance work.

We invite you to discuss this month’s theme, share recommended resources and join the conversation in our Community Forum on Estate Planning, Governance & Decision-Making (members-only). If you have any questions about this month’s theme or are interested in joining The UHNW Institute, please do not hesitate to contact us.