Enhancing Your Family Meeting

Family meetings are valuable opportunities for your family to come together, review financial strategies, assess progress towards goals and adjust if needed, refresh and align visions for the future, and check-in on each other regarding non-financial matters. They are also great opportunities to connect with professionals such as financial advisors, accountants, and therapists. In this article, we will explore ways to enhance your family office meeting.

I. Welcome and Introduction

Use this time welcome everyone and recap the purpose and importance of the meeting. A mid-year meeting allows the family to conduct a thorough review of goals, progress and financial standing, including investments, cash flow, estate planning, tax strategies, and philanthropic initiatives. It provides an opportunity to identify any necessary adjustments or opportunities for optimization. It also serves as an opportunity to talk about the family mission and to connect with one another regarding non-financial matters. If you have invited an external professional to join your meeting, this is the time to introduce them to the family and state their role during the meeting.

II. Financial Review

Conduct a comprehensive review of finances, including investment portfolio performance, analysis of cash flow, income, expenses, and budgeting. The Financial Review is also a good time to discuss any significant changes in the family’s financial situation, which can include an overview of estate planning documents (wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, etc.), and a review of tax strategies and potential optimization opportunities.

III. Goal Assessment and Adjustment

During this time, review your family’s strategic goals for the year. Evaluate progress towards your financial goals, identify any necessary adjustments or modifications to goals based on changing circumstances, and discuss future aspirations or setting new goals. Do not forget to celebrate the success and achievements. We often see how much we have to do and don’t acknowledge all that has been achieved. Having specific goals for the rising generation is a terrific way to make them feel included and to educate them on responsibilities and accountability to the family plan.

IV. Philanthropic Initiatives

Review ongoing charitable commitments and initiatives and discuss strategies to maximize the impact of your family’s philanthropic efforts. You can also explore new philanthropic opportunities and discuss other causes that align with your family’s mission. This is another area in which the rising generation should be encouraged to have a role and purpose. They will learn a great deal by serving with older generations.

V. Open Discussion and Family Input

While open communication in each area is essential, setting aside specific time for open discussion encourages family members to share their thoughts. It serves as an opportunity for all attendees to contribute ideas or suggestions for improving the family’s strategies and decision-making processes, which reinforces family cohesion and unity. This time also allows family members to voice their opinions, concerns, and aspirations, fostering a sense of shared ownership and collective decision-making.

VI. Next Steps and Action Plan

Recap key takeaways and decisions made during the meeting, assign action items and responsibilities, and establish a timeline for implementation and follow up. Schedule your next family office meeting during this time.

Setting an agenda that works for your family can enhance your meetings by offering a clear understanding of what will be discussed and how long the meeting will last. External professionals may also be a valuable resource in helping your family set an agenda. Overall, this meeting should serve as a platform for honest conversation, open communication, conflict resolution, fostering a shared understanding of the family’s mission and financial situation, which will enable proactive decision-making and strengthen the family connection.


The content in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as recommendations or financial planning advice. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.


“Conducting Successful Family Business Transition Meetings”, Chris Zoller for Ohio State University, accessed on June 2, 2023, https://farmoffice.osu.edu/sites/aglaw/files/site-library/Webinars/Business-Meetings-zhp368.pdf

“Family Meetings: Best Practices and Strategies”, Karen Rush and Anne Freel for Family Office Exchange, accessed on June 2, 2023, https://www.familyoffice.com/sites/default/files/knowledge-center/files/022708presentation.pdf

“10 Tips for Successful Family Meetings – 10.249”, R.J. Fetsch and B. Jacobson for Colorado State University | Extension, accessed on June 2, 2023: https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/family-home-consumer/10-tips-for-successful-family-meetings/