Family Businesses


New York Times article highlights value of Elder Mediation

The New York Times published a piece yesterday by Abby Ellin titled “Strengthening Troubled Sibling Bonds to Deal With an Aging Parent.” It appears in the Saturday Personal Business section in the print edition and the Your Money section of the digital edition, here. In the article, three sisters in their fifties describe how working […]

Family Businesses That Fail to Plan…

….Plan to Fail! It’s a familiar cliche, but nonetheless true: failing to plan is planning to fail. Family businesses face special challenges that can make it tempting to procrastinate about succession planning: the overlapping spheres of ownership, family, and management of the enterprise can provide great satisfaction and success, but they can also make it […]

Every family is unique, yet some types of conflict are common

When a family member contacts me to talk about how I might be able to help with a family conflict over money or a business or a related problem, the person is often surprised to learn that their family is not unusual in facing such problems. (Trusted advisors who contact me to see if I […]

How not to use family partnerships

Paul Sullivan’s New York Times Wealth Matters column on July 7, 2012 was titled “In an Unusual Tax Year, the Wealthy Turn to Partnerships.”  He described how the use of family limited partnerships is typically very limited, but the current tax situation makes them popular right now. Experts caution, however, that using these or similar […]

Help preventing or healing family heartbreak

Around Valentine’s Day we hear a lot about romantic love. But family love is important, too, and a family break-up can be just as tragic as a couple’s. Sometimes it’s even worse. Family mediation among adult siblings, between parent and child, or in some combination can prevent or heal family heartbreak. A facilitated family meeting […]

Your “Big Picture” Year-End Review

As 2010 draws to a close, year-end reviews become popular. We’re all told to take a cold, hard look at where we are and where we need to go. Businesses are encouraged to examine where they can make marginal changes to improve their bottom line. Individuals are urged to pick one, small change that they […]

Giving Thanks for Family

It’s easy to Talk the Talk about Thanksgiving and family: “I am so thankful for my family.” “I love my family and I would do anything for them.” “Family comes first.” But do you Walk the Walk? Have you had those important conversations about estate planning? Have your parents told you their wishes about end-of-life […]

Family business buy-out conflicts

Family businesses possess great strengths — and potentially devastating weaknesses.  One weakness involves the challenge of planning for a day when some or all family members leave the business. On November 1, 2009, the  New York  Times ran an article by Charles V. Bagli titled “Flipping a Coin, Dividing an Empire.”  In it, he described […]

Women business owners’ conference: informative and inspiring

Last week’s state-wide conference for women business owners brought together more than 100 Connecticut women business owners. Full marks go to the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women for all of the leg work and to the National Association of Women Business Owners for the funding. I had the pleasure of co-presenting a […]

“Smooth Business Transitions” at “Transition Your Business Through Challenge” Conference

On Friday, July 24, 2009,  I will be co-presenting a workshop on “Smooth Business Transitions” at a conference for Connecticut women business owners.  The conference, “Transition Your Business Through Challenge”, is sponsored by the State of Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) and the National Association of Women Business Owners. My role […]

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