© Richard T. Nowitz/Corbis
It’s no secret that money can be the root of all evil for wealthy families unaccustomed to its power, sometimes leading younger generations to lives of inertia and wasted opportunities. Worse still are the horrifying stories of substance abuse, suicide and crime within the ranks of the ultra-rich.
But with dedication and planning, wealth can also be a blessing, enabling multiple generations to become fruitful in business, the arts, politics and philanthropy. The key to success is not so much in effective money management — although that is important — but in establishing and maintaining a harmonious and cohesive family.
“Wealth cannot be sustained if individual family members are not productive contributors to the family,” says Lee Hausner, co-author of “The Legacy Family” and senior managing director of First Foundation Advisors.
Hausner cites the Rockefellers as a prominent example of a successful multigenerational family. The enormous financial legacy established more than a hundred years ago by Standard Oil Co. founder John D. Rockefeller has helped fuel achievements of various family members and funded a philanthropic foundation that endures to this day.
Want to know the secrets to keeping the family fortune? Read on for eight best practices of wealthy multigenerational families.