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Family Wealth: — Keeping It in the Family — How Family Members and Their Advisers Preserve Human, Intellectual, and Financial Assets for Generations, Revised and Expanded Edition by James E. Hughes Jr.

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Chapter 2. The Family Mission Statement

Every well-managed business in America has a mission statement. Accepting the metaphor that a family is a business, a well-managed family should have a mission statement as well.

What is a mission statement? It is an expression of the purpose, vision, values, and goals of a particular individual, couple, family, or enterprise. The creation of a family mission statement is the starting point for organizing the family to preserve its wealth. For a family that is already organized, the need to express its purpose, values, and goals will become apparent as soon as the first difficult problems arise and family members have no shared way of understanding how to resolve them. Wherever your family is in the process of wealth preservation, a mission statement will help you achieve long-term success. After all, if you can't define the mission of where you're going, how will you know if you get there?

What are the issues a family mission statement needs to address to define the family's purpose, vision, values, and goals?

  • A family needs to understand its purpose. While I believe the purpose of a family is to enhance the pursuit of happiness of its individual members, and thereby preserve its human, intellectual, and financial capital, each family must determine and define its philosophy for itself. The first goal of a mission statement is, therefore, just that: to define the family's philosophy of its purpose.

  • A family must have a common vision. It must ...

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