A unique characteristic of the FBR System model includes using a family retreat. In our model the entire family, not just the business owner, is the client. The family retreat creates the environment of open communication. It is where we recommend delivering the plan to the family – everyone who has a stake in the outcome hears the details of the new plan from the same person, in the same way, at the same time.
Information gathered during pre-planning family interviews and visits with the other family advisors becomes part of the solution. Sometimes information can be controversial or difficult for some of the attendees to hear. Open, honest communications can even create confrontation as some of the information may have been buried or avoided by some family members for a long time. Old wounds may be reopened. But in the end we have found that open family communication improves the quality of family life.
There are a number of objectives that a Wealth Transfer Planning Specialist should have in mind when conducting a family retreat. They should:
- Create an atmosphere for open and honest communication
- Revisit the needs and expectations family members have of the business
- Present the new plan in a way that demonstrates how it addresses family needs and expectations
- Obtain agreement from the family member to implement the new plan
When reviewing the new plan:
- Know your topic
- Speak clearly
- Use facilitation skills
- Encourage involvement
- Offer positive feedback
- Manage conflict
- Obtain agreement to implement
- Summarize family expectations
At the close of the retreat, after everyone has accepted the new wealth transfer plan, celebrate the victory. Prepare in advance by planning a party of celebration that will signal the successful end to a long journey. Make every effort to make the celebration a memorable event. Something very important has happened. The family has successfully achieved a major milestone in the history of the family and the business.