Case Study:
Advanced Generational Family Planning & Philanthropy

A successful family business was left in trust for HIS wife upon his passing. Unsure how to best keep the family business successful for future generations, Wendy came to us with these questions:

  • How can we keep the business together for the next generations?
  • How can I make sure that we’ve made the best plan for the preservation and transfer of our family wealth?
  • How can we instill our family values in the next generation?

We began with an audit, as we do with all of our new clients, and found: 

  • The shareholder agreement and trust documents were set up to divide the business equally amongst the children upon Wendy’s passing, outright and free of trust. With three children and seven grandchildren the risk was great that the next generations wouldn’t be able to agree on a single course of action for the company they would eventually inherit.
  • The family business did not have a plan for strong future leadership.
  • The family had significant estate tax exposure.
  • The family did not have a plan to instill the family values in the next generation or foster long term family unity.

Copper Beech Solution

  • We coordinated the family’s team of trusted advisors to place the family business in a dynasty trust.
  • We collaborated with their trusted advisors to create a long term family business succession and management retention plan. This included a clearly defined succession plan and an executive compensation plan that would incentivize the executives to remain with the company.
  • We worked alongside the family’s trusted advisors to set up a foundation. This would give the family a shared purpose and a way to share values with the next generation.


  • Under the revised ownership structure, the family business is protected for the next generation of the family*. 
  • The foundation gives the family a way to foster long term unity and instill the family values in next generation.


*Investments in private business enterprises represent significant risk and there are no assurances of future performance or results.