By doing so, we've shifted the paradigm of estate planning for business families. Traditional estate planning is focused on technical solutions, involving obscure language, cryptic documents, and complex tax plans.  While technical solutions are essential ingredients to every plan, they need to follow the family’s decisions, not lead them.

Putting families first shifts the paradigm of estate planning for business families.

1. Family Clarity

This is our ability to work with the family’s big picture – understanding its full ownership and financial structure, the family’s vision for the future, and any family dynamics that are presenting challenges.

Facilitating family clarity also involves:

  • Identifying the rules and structures that govern the ownership plan, with all family owners engaged and aligned;
  • Ensuring the family’s advisory team is connected to the vision and plan;
  • Helping the family align key family relationships with the wealth through enhanced trust and communication;
  • Working through family complexities that threaten succession; and building a plan to transfer wisdom, knowledge and experience to successors.

2.  Financial Security

Family clarity fuels great financial design. Once families understand what their game plan will be, we can help them identify the least costly solutions. Family financial requirements, like estate taxes and buyouts, can stress the business if unprepared for. Choosing cost effective strategies will secure the family’s goals, and at the same time preserve as much capital as possible for the growth of their business.

Our financial security component also involves:

  • Ensuring sufficient cash will be available when it's needed - assets are one thing, cash is another;
  • Understanding how the current owners will “settle up” with the next generation when it’s time to move on - what is the timing and how much will it cost?
  • Identifying and comparing financial options:  many families default to using their most valuable assets when there are often less expensive solutions available.

3. Innovative Insurance Solutions

Many families are surprised to see a life insurance program as the funding centerpiece of their ownership plan. Our experience is that life insurance can offer businesses a better tax-efficient and cost-saving solution to other options.

Implementing innovative insurance solutions also involves:

  • Collaborating with clients and their advisors to co-design the best funding plan;
  • Creating flexible plans that adapt to changing circumstances;
  • Negotiating the best possible terms with insurers;
  • Ensuring the family understands how the life insurance solution works – and how it can change with their needs; and servicing the family with simplicity, elegance and care throughout their lifetime.

4. Regular Review

Many clients lose track of their plans because they don’t get reviewed regularly enough, and when reviews do take place, all the relevant information is not available.  CMG’s Family Capital Review is coordinated with the ongoing financial results of the business and the family.  It operates as an annual family board.

A regular review will include:

  • Gathering up-to-date ownership and financial information
  • Meeting with family and key advisors
  • Review of plan performance
  • Updates and “to-do’s” assigned clearly for implementation