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Wealth and Relationships: The Trust That Binds

by Amy Castoro


Wealth can complicate relationships and magnify levels of trust positively or negatively. A patriarch had a history of going back on his word. He had a history of not making it to his children’s games and performances as well as not being home when he said he would. He was running a large enterprise, with six VPs reporting to him. His children loved him but believed the business and money came first, which did not help their self-esteem. He felt he was building the company for his children and was perplexed by how they did not appreciate this. His continual unreliability in fulfilling his promises sent a message they could not trust him. Conversations about estate planning were impossible because of an already threatened relationship. Once the family learned to observe, manage, and repair trust, they were able to have explicit conversations about breaks in trust and raise the bar on accountability. As a consequence of this new learning, the VPs also noted increased reliability in the patriarch!


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