A Revolutionary Approach for Families and Wealth

How much would it mean to you to experience the joy of seeing your family happy, healthy and thriving?  What if each member felt connected and heard, and found the mentoring and support to reach his or her potential?  What if you and your family had the tools, knowledge and support to open doors to possibilities you never thought possible — both now, and for generations to come?

Nothing is more central to most people’s lives than family.  Family relationships are full of challenges and opportunities, hopes and disappointments, and encompass our past and our future.  While there are a few exceptional families in which everything seems to go smoothly, almost every family has some internal conflict and difficult family members, based on our experience.  Dealing with the emotions and demands can seem overwhelming.  Avoiding conversations is understandable, but unfortunately often leads to a deepening of divisions, and a host of lost opportunities.

Now, add money and inheritances into the mix.  Things get extremely complicated very quickly!  But, because money is inextricably intertwined in the fabric of our lives and relationships, it also provides a perfect springboard into conversations that can bring families together, creating a better future and a better “now.”

Collaborative Practice Trusts & Estates literally transforms the way families plan for — and deal with — inter-generational wealth issues.  Based on the proven structure and principles of Collaborative Practice developed over the past twenty years, Collaborative Practice Trusts & Estates provides a robust and powerful framework for supporting families in building unity and determining their own destinies by leveraging professional, interdisciplinary teamwork and protocols. 

The benefits of Collaborative Practice Trusts & Estates are incalculable, and include:

  • For the first time, a structured, inter-disciplinary team approach to estate planning, based on Collaborative Practice, the highly successful model that has proven itself time and again in resolving challenging family conflicts and ameliorating the destructive impact of our adversarial court system on families and children;
  • Support for families in all of the complex areas that can arise in estate planning and administration, including interpersonal communication, legal issues and document preparation, financial and business issues, eldercare and geriatric issues, trust administration, and more;
  • An inclusive, transparent approach that reduces conflict and engenders harmony, increasing the likelihood that family members willcooperateand thrive, both now and for succeeding generations;
  • Reduced financial and emotional costs of estate disputes and conflict;
  • Substantive assistance and support during planning and implementation phases of estate planning.

The Collaborative Practice Trusts & Estates structure creates a safe and supportive environment in which families are able to create futures together.   Essential elements of the process include trust, transparency and the support of expert coaching in diverse and complex disciplines.  Highly trained professionals from the fields of law and estate planning, communications, counseling, personal finance, eldercare, trusts and administration, work together as one team to support the family.  Think of it as a Cadillac® experience that encourages optimal outcomes and the promulgation of family values, while pampering the family with the care and support of skilled experts who are focused on the family’s interests — not their own.  The irony is that this “Cadillac” often saves families a lot of money in the long run!

We’ve talked to numerous estate planning attorneys and others who have invested considerable time and energy into the dream of family communication and harmony in estate planning, yet until now, the results have been limited and disappointing.  However, it’s clear that the Collaborative Practice structure provides the missing framework to bring a true revolution to this sadly underserved area of wealth planning, even when conflict and tough emotions are involved.

What we do has an impact not only on our own lives, but also on the people around us, our communities, and the future. Why not act consciously and deliberately to make a positive difference?  Collaborative Practice takes skilled and knowledgeable professionals, and gives them the structure and tools needed to have an impact far beyond what our traditional training and approaches normally produce.  Often, family transformations are surprisingly quick and easy to achieve, and once the tide shifts, the results can seem miraculous.

In early September, Collaborative Practice of Silicon Valley (www.cpsv.us) will be offering the very first professional training, and this is a great opportunity for other advisors — including estate planning attorneys, psychologists, and financial professionals — to participate and learn about this powerful, new approach.  They (and you) can learn more, and even download a training flyer, at www.CollaborativeEstates.org.

We look forward to sharing more with you, and will certainly keep you informed about this exciting, new opportunity going forward!

— Contributed by Peter W. Johnson, Jr., Principal at PWJohnson Wealth Management