Let Your Family Lawyer Draft Your Family Constitution

By: Rhine Delema

Are you running a long and successful business? Something that you started on your youth and effectively turned into an empire? Now that you are in your old age, have you thought of the future of this venture you are into? I believe you have practically spent numerous hours and unimaginable effort to make it this big. After you have built an empire, are you sure your offspring are as driven as you to keep your business running at full force? Given your economic status, I believe it is safe to assume that you have a family lawyer working for you.

Tell you what, how would you like to be sure that your children (or even one of your children) will take good care of your carefully established wealth? A will and testament is not enough. It is merely a statement of what your family will get after you are dead. What you need is to ask your family lawyer to draft a family constitution for you. Now what is a family constitution? It is a statement bearing your values, vision, and mission for the whole family and their relationship to your business. A family constitution basically stitches loose ends as to what responsibilities your family should live up to when you time comes.

How is it formed? First, you have to discuss thing with your family lawyer, reiterating the values and visions you want to leave with your family and even with the coming generations. Next, you have to sit down with your family and discuss those values and visions with them. Your family lawyer should be present as a witness. After everything is carefully explained, clarify everyone in the room for questions or further explanations on the said constitution. By the time every member of your family understands your constitution, let them sign it in front of your family lawyer and let him or her validate it through notarization or other similar legal actions.

Why is a family constitution needed anyway? Well, it is a tool to bring members of the family closer in terms of core family values, beliefs, principles, and mission. It is the family’s crest, flag, and symbol. It is the invisible string that binds them to what is important more than anything—the family. It is vital that all members of your family are all about the family-first spirit or your constitution won’t be as effective as you want it to be.

A family constitution should be drafted for every family. But it is more needed in families that have large businesses and wealth to leave not only with the generation after them, but to the future generations of their families as well. Surely, you want your legacy to continue for a long time, right? You did not kill yourself building a successful business from t he ground up only to have it crumble down not long after you are not there to supervise its operations. You have little worry, though, in drafting the constitution and making your family agree if you have a dependable family lawyer with you. That is the advantage of having one.

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Rhine Delema is a family lawyer in Maryland. Know more about criminal litigation Virginia here.

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