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How can I safeguard my family values and assets and start a conversation to avoid any confusion about these within the family going forward?

Tensions inevitably increase during uncertainty and this is particularly acute when members of the family are incapacitated or face an unexpected death. Confusion may lead to inaction over important tasks which, unattended, may in turn impact the value of family assets and test family relationships further.

To pre-empt these issues, families may put in place a family charter which sets out what to do and who should do it, and importantly how it should be done - the aim being to protect family values and assets in a way which encourages family harmony and purpose.

Once these decisions have been made through the charter, this will also help guide the family on practical matters and the order of communication in the event of incapacity or unexpected death with advisers, bankers, business stakeholders, commercial and philanthropy partners, as well as the press and other interested parties.

Working with your advisers, the charter will evolve and dovetail with your overall strategy and changing family situation and be an important tool in growing your wealth and managing your succession in tune with your family values.

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What to do when someone dies

In the absence of a family charter, please follow this step by step guide of what to do when someone dies

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What steps should my family take to communicate the event of my death or incapacity?

The sudden demise or death of a family member is extremely distressing. What steps should you take?

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Where do I start? Practical points to consider for a family charter

A family charter is not a legal document but sits alongside the legal documents you will have regarding your assets and business interests.

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What does it mean if I agree to be someone’s Attorney?

Read more about some of the common questions we get asked and key points to consider

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What should I be thinking about with my family business during the pandemic?

Watch Julia Cox provide hints and tips for owners of family businesses

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Grandparents and their children’s divorce

Guardianship of grandchildren following parent’s death or divorce

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“Step parents” and their partners’ children

What happens to the children if the natural parent dies and what is my position as a step parent?

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James Riby and Melania Constable write for Lexis PSL on insolvency and divorce in the time of coronavirus

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