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By Joel Kimmel, Senior Lead Family Consultant

Through my work with The Williams Group for over 20 years, I found the biggest difference in building family trust is often the little questions. A son took over the family business and committed to supporting his sister and his father’s dream of growing the business. We were brought in to establish a unified vision that would allow the siblings to experience success. We noticed the sister was getting increasingly frustrated as her brother explained the distribution path in a family meeting. We asked a little question: “How do you learn most effectively?” She replied: “I’m a visual learner.” We then asked her brother to draw a diagram of the money flow through the business, family office, and then each person. The sister could then see the thinking behind the decisions. She started attending quarterly meetings and began experimenting with her own investments.

The simple little question (how do you learn?) allowed the siblings to become partners in the use and purpose of the family wealth and increased their mother’s confidence that her son and daughter would find their way together to manage the family wealth.