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Case Study: Building Stronger Relationships Among Siblings

Helping family members with financial education and communication to ensure a lasting legacy.

Profile: A client couple who owned a successful real estate business was concerned that their four children, ages 19 to 25, weren't communicating regularly and were prone to clashes. The couple worried that the business and their employees—not to mention their children's relationships with each other—would suffer if the siblings had to run the business together after they were gone.

Solution: The couple's relationship manager introduced them to a Wilmington Trust family strategist, who advised giving their children a set amount of money each year to invest together. The proceeds would be used to pay for a family vacation. But with very little money left after the first year, the siblings realized that they needed financial education. Through our Family Sustainability Process, we assessed each sibling's leadership and communication styles, enabling the four siblings to agree on a common goal—a trip to Turks and Caicos—and to work together to achieve it.

Result: Over several years, the siblings grew closer and became more thoughtful investors, learning to make financial decisions as a group and giving their parents confidence that they could run the business together. Best of all, the four came to respect each other's styles and priorities. Heartened by this, the couple gave them additional money for charitable gifts. Ultimately, the siblings grew their investments enough to fill their philanthropic goals—and to fund that Turks and Caicos vacation.

Specific details related to this case study have been changed or deleted to insure confidentiality.


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