Beating the Midas Curse by Perry L Cochell & Rod Zeeb

The authors set out the historical and multicultural evidence that supports the view that it is a consequence of the human condition which means 90% of all estate planning fails to transmit values and valuables beyond the grandchildren. They then explore what the successful 10% do, so that they may unearth and codify the techniques that may be successfully and consciously applied by anyone caring to move from the bottom 90% to the top 10%.

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By the use of coherent argument, a strong literary style and easy-to-visualize scenarios, they describe the process they term Heritage Design. This is the means by which every family, regardless of their wealth or influence, can build enduring cohesive high-performance units that can weather any storm history cares to throw at them. The process means helping the family and all its members to identify its purpose and their roles. More often than not the development of a strong unifying culture and tradition includes philanthropy at its heart

Whilst inheritance has been a subject I have been looking at for years, the central messages that stood out were, “It’s not about the money” And “however accomplished a matriarch or patriarch may be, they will almost certainly be poorly placed to run the process”. The family, even close families, will require expert experienced coaching to draw out the true desires of each member of the family, help deal with present and future conflict, and then drive the actions that need to be taken to give shape and meaning to the culture that is being nurtured. At the very least this is something that I will be doing with my immediate and extended family. I am now on the path to make the transition from a keen observer, to an experienced customer and in due course a skillful practitioner.