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Making a Family Foundation Work, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA


Family foundations are a great way for members of a family to come together in a joint effort to contribute to society and their communities. If not handled properly, however, they can also be a source of family strife. The latter is avoidable with good planning.

For a long time family foundations have been an excellent way for wealthy people to leave a positive legacy of philanthropy in their communities. Some foundations last for generations after the founder passes away and create a sense of purpose for later family members. Other foundations, however, become sources of family feuds and do not last.

Recently, Wealth Management wrote about the traits of those foundations that do last in “Top Five Traits of Effective Family Philanthropy.”

The identified traits include:

  • Mission – Foundations that work have clear missions so everyone knows what the purpose of the foundation is and they can all work towards it.
  • Decision-Making – It is important to recognize that family members will not always agree. A clear and fair decision-making process should be put in place so those disagreements do not fester and spoil the foundation.
  • Dialogue Across Generations – It is important that younger generations be brought into the process when they are capable so they can learn from experienced family members.
  • Personal Passions – Different family members will be passionate about different charitable works. Allowing family members some freedom to pursue their passions keeps them involved and excited about the foundation.
  • Outside Experience – It is important to be open to professional advice about foundation operations and the best ways to carry out the mission.

Ultimately, an experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure the long-term success of a family foundation by careful planning upfront.

Reference: Wealth Management (May 13, 2016) “Top Five Traits of Effective Family Philanthropy.”

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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

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The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

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I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

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