In numerous practical ways, families are guided and held together by the documents they create and share. The essential documents that help give business families fundamental organization range from complex legal estate planning documents to simple yet powerful vision and purpose statements.

Essential documents help families define, structure and sustain success across generations. The most successful multigenerational enterprising families and family offices utilize a variety of operational descriptions or “moral” agreements as the means to manage the complexity of having family and business mixed together. The intention is not to add bureaucracy but to add organization and clarity so that family members of all ages can better understand the system they are a part of. It is critical to consider those documents that you already have in place, those that may need updating and those that you need to invest time and energy into creating.

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This article originally appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of Family Business Magazine. (Shared with permission.)