Family Wealth Mediation


Sperner’s lemma and the challenge of dividing prized possessions

Yesterday’s New York Times included an article in the Science Times titled “To Divide the Rent, Start With a Triangle” by Albert Sun. He described how Sperner’s lemma could be used for a procedure for fair division of rent in an apartment with three bedrooms of different sizes and other features.  Dr. Francis Su had […]

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 […]

Family Money Talk

Two days ago, Kiplinger published a great online article by Jennifer Anderson, “The  Family Money Talk You Must Have — Your adult kids should know about your finances and what they can expect.”  The article stresses how important — even if difficult — it is for parents to talk to their adult children about estate […]

Are family wealth conflicts caused by evolution?

You might not think, at first glance, that evolution would have anything at all to do with family wealth conflicts. Granted, my perspective isn’t universal, but an October 13, 2013 article in the New York Times suggests that it does. The article, “Evolution and Bad Boyfriends”, written by Piet van den Berg and Tim W. […]

The challenge of family vacation homes

The family vacation home can be the repository of years of treasured family memories; it can also be a family’s downfall.  When parents are making plans to leave a family vacation home to their adult children, it can be easy to assume that the memories of the good times and the beauty of the surroundings […]

Families, money, and family money: the sad Astor saga

Earlier this month, the 89-year-old son of Brooke Astor, Anthony Marshall, finally entered prison to begin the prison sentence meted out upon his conviction for stealing tens of millions of dollars from his mother. Prosecutors charged that he and an Astor family lawyer had tricked the elderly woman into changing her will for Marshall’s benefit. […]

Negotiation, cliffs, and social capital

Ten days ago, after a short-term solution to the “fiscal cliff” was announced, the New York Times ran an article by James B. Stewart titled “In Budget Talks, Getting to ‘Yes’”.  Stewart had interviewed various academic experts on the negotiation approaches that the Republicans and Democrats had been employing. Suffice it to say that the […]

Speziale Alternative Dispute Resolution Symposium

Last month, Quinnipiac University School of Law hosted the Eighth John A. Speziale Alternative Dispute Resolution Symposium. This year the symposium covered “ADR in Hard Times: Can Alternative Dispute Resolution Maintain Access to Justice When Resources Are Limited?” I was honored to ask to serve as a Resource Participant in the afternoon breakout session on […]

“Victory” in family wealth conflicts?

The London Olympics are in full swing and the air is full of “victory” and “defeat”. It’s tempting, when just getting started in a family wealth conflict, to think about “winning” — whether that means outsmarting, outlasting, or outmaneuvering a family member. Conflicts can start small, with little thought about what the very long-term implications […]

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 […]

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