What should be included

The inclusion of characteristics adapted to the goals of a particular family in the family constitution will help to resolve most existing problems and prevent future conflicts and unforeseen situations.

Although a Family Constitution should be tailor-made to fit the specific needs and objectives of a specific family and the size and nature of its business, some characteristics typically dealt with in a Family Constitutions may include:

  • The family values, vision, mission, goals and commitments;
  • Strategic objectives of the family and/or its business(es);
  • Management of the family business and other assets;
  • Roles, rights and powers of the family members, as well as rules relating to family or family business meetings and counsels;
  • Rules relating to the resolution of family conflicts;
  • Entry and exit mechanisms for those entering and existing the family/and or the family business;
  • Employment of family members within the family business;
  • How family assets are passed to future generations;
  • When and how family assets can be sold to third parties; and
  • How and what assets or businesses may be purchased in the future.

It should be noted however that the Family Constitution but should continue to be reviewed and updated as the family and its business evolves to ensure that it remains relevant and fit for purpose.