George and Lindsay Miller were working with us to create a legacy strategy that reflected what he wanted for his family.
We learned how each of their ancestors had contributed to the family legacy and helped form who George and Lindsay had become. We discovered Lindsay's grandfather's actions had a profound impact on Lindsay's world view.
Lindsay’s grandfather was an important influence on her Legacy of Five. He gave up his dream when he dropped out of medical school to take over their struggling family farm after his father had passed away. He told Lindsay that nothing was more important than family and that we needed to do everything we could to help each other out.
This idea of doing everything to help each other out became a cornerstone of the Miller Family legacy.
During a subsequent family meeting, George and Lindsay told their kids that, as was tradition in their families, they would support them in pursuing their dreams by providing the financial resources they would need. Their son had been talking about starting a furniture company and their daughter had indicated she might want to go back to school.
George and Lindsay told Peter and Michelle what their expectations were in sharing their wealth with them. George said he wanted them to be serious in their undertakings. Lindsay added that she wanted them to be committed and carry through to the end.
They went on to say that if their son wanted to start his own company, they wanted to see a business plan. If their daughter was going to embark on a new field of study, they expected her to complete the program and earn her degree.
We counseled George and Lindsay to fund significant ventures their kids wished to pursue by lending them money rather than giving it to them outright. In this way, as the ventures became successful, the kids could repay the “bank,” thus replenishing the family’s pool of legacy wealth.
Defining what's important to the family (during times of zero conflict) makes future decision-making easier. George and Lindsay were able to carry out what was important to them – supporting their children's pursuit of their dreams – without the typical hurt feelings and drama that often comes with these kinds of dealings.