The global pandemic of COVID-19 has put the entire world on a reset and it’s no doubt that 2020 has forever changed the way we live, work and take care of ourselves and our family. 

At a time when everything seems uncertain, there are steps families can take to re-evaluate everything from managing money to defining what is important to them as a family unit.

This became even more apparent to me as I became a new mother late last year.  Soon before welcoming our daughter, I attended a leadership breakfast where we were asked to create our own family mission statement. As I reflected on what would be important for me to convey to her, I was also reminded that the mission statement should include ideals that would resonate with her as she developed into her own individual.   The challenge of summarizing our beliefs into a few brief sentences seemed great, but one that would be important as we encountered different challenges along the years. I envisioned that this would be a collection of sentences that would serve as our family motto and be easily recalled by all family members as we moved through various stages of life.  Ultimately, we came up with a few sentences that stood for simple, yet profound principles that we could pass from generation to generation and return to as grounding principals that would provide the standard for what we wanted to become as a family.

Now is the time for families to sit down and create a family mission statement.  The family mission statement provides a clear set of ideas and serves as a guide for current and future generations.  It may seem daunting to some, but the purpose of a family mission statement is intended to articulate the values, philosophy, vision and goals of the family.   Cultivating strong family roots begins with establishing a proper foundation. This foundation is created when family members have a shared sense of values and purpose around their goals.

Here are some tips to consider when creating a family mission statement:

  • What values are important for your family?
  • Define principals that can carry through as your family grows and pass down to generations.
  • What are your visions for your family?  Have they changed since COVID-19?
  • How would you like your family to be perceived?
  • How do you as a family want to contribute to your community?
    • What organizations are important to each member to support and give back. 
  • Gives each family member an independent voice that reflects self-sufficiency and individuality.
  • Involve your kids in creating the family mission statement.
  • Working with financial advisor and a family office

The family mission statement is important for all families, no matter the phase of life the family is in.  From young couples and families starting out, to families with kids preparing for life after high-school, or close to retirement and family businesses. It is particularity important for families that have a high net of wealth to communicate their shared values and create family legacy, both economic and otherwise.

In the end, cultivating strong family roots begins with establishing a proper foundation. This foundation is created when family members have a shared sense of values and purpose around their goals. Families can establish unity and cohesion of their financial lives when their shared vision is expressed in a family mission statement and may even employ the help of a family office which serve as a trusted advisor to the family for current and future generations. In this role, the family office helps weave together priorities that are important to all with the family’s overall financial objectives. The result is a mission statement that is reflected throughout the families’ wealth planning and investment objectives.