Why do 70% of families fail to pass their wealth and values on beyond the first generation? And what happens to the 30% that do? How many of them get beyond the third generation? According to research conducted by The Heritage Institute something less than 10% make it beyond the grand-children. They also identify the common thread amongst families that establish enduring structures that withstand the Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune and successfully take up Arms against the Sea of troubles.

Central to the common thread is the thorough preparation of heirs. In other words in addition to financial and estate planning, the founding matriarch/patriarch prepares the succeeding generations in a wholly open honest and transparent way. The process is a journey not an event, and it is sure to precipitate lively debate. Better to plan whilst still alive, than for your family to find out what you really wanted after your death and from the solicitor instead of directly from you.

If you are at all worried about the costs then consider this. What might it be worth paying now to avoid conflict and acrimony, excessive tax bills and the disintegration of your life's work? The Williams Group has been in this business for over thirty years in the US and has never got close to charging 1% of an estate's value. Not only is this a tiny premium, but the process inevitably leads to much stronger family bonds and, unsurprisingly, greatly enhanced performance by the family as a whole. The payback comes quickly and repeatedly from many sources.

Talk to us about our personal experiences of this process and find out how to get involved.