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Martha Frahm Quoted in CFAR Publication "The Family Compound—“Glue” or “Dynamite”?"

July 2, 2021Publications / Mentions
CFAR: Family Enterprises and Owner-Led Businesses

Goulston & Storrs Director, Martha Frahm, was quoted in a CFAR: Family Enterprises and Owner-Led Businesses publication, “The Family Compound—“Glue” or “Dynamite”?”, by Caleb E. White, on July 2, 2021. With her experience working with families making decisions about collective economics, Martha weighed in on certain measures families can take to help their property survive through generations, if that is desired, in order to create conditions for continued ownership, use, and togetherness.

Oftentimes, the leading generation—parents, grandparents—create/own property that is the start of a family compound that they come to see serving as a common ground—figuratively and literally, for future generations. At the same time, this future joint ownership sets the stage for potentially differential connection and feelings about who, how, and when family togetherness is expected. But like anything else that brings families and their economics together, some forethought can go a long way. Joint ownership of property can be like dynamite—with disagreements causing fissures between family members as they try to navigate the waters of working together as both owners and occupants.

Additionally, retaining an expensive legacy asset that sees little usage, is in need of capital improvements, or has fading appeal to family members that have dispersed far and wide can make little sense. Martha was quoted in the piece on this point, saying, “families should not assume everyone has the same emotional attachment to family traditions or financial means to support the family home", adding, "open and honest communication is key.”