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by Rhonda Spivak, January 3, 2018


Doug Markewich is a family unity coach, a person who works to creates trust between family members by talking about common goals and values  important to all family members, which ensures that their financial inheritance and family unity will be intact for generations. "I work with families to help them avoid fighting over financial inheritances by helping them communicate and make decisions together as a family,"he says.

Markewich adds that studies show that in 70% of families, both the assets and family unity are destroyed by the end of the second generation, and by the end of the third generation, 90% of families have witnessed their unity and their assets disappear.


Prior to becoming involved in family coaching, Markewich spent 30 years doing tax and estate planning across the country but he says "family coaching is the most rewarding work I have ever done."


Markewich explains that we receive and pass on two kinds of inheritance, financial and emotional. "Most people have financial advisers and estate planners to deal with financial inheritance, but not 'emotional inheritance,' which is the sum total of stories, values, life lessons, and family traditions that we need to pass on to family members in order to create family unity, such that  the financial inheritance ultimately won't be lost. 


Through family coaching, people can prepare their family to be able to work together, as well as play together in a way that ensures that the family and the assets you have worked so hard to accumulate can remain intact for generations, with each individual family member living a full productive life.


"There are a number of warning signs that may well suggest that a family will fight over its estate, such as sibling rivalry, economic disparity among beneficiaries, estrangement or disinheritance, and advanced benefit to one heir and not the others. In these circumstances, family coaching can be the only way to ensure that the core values ,traditions and life lessons  of a family will be passed on such that the heirs do not fight and ultimately squander their financial inheritance. Family coaching enables those who are passing on their financial wealth to plan for the future of their family, not just for the future of its money,"  Markewich notes.


Markewich, who is based in Winnipeg, is the first ever Canadian graduate of the Heritage Institute in the United States, the foremost institute for transferring family wealth and values from generation to generation. "I have the equivalent of a two year's Masters degree in Family Coaching. I am known as a Heritage Design Professional," he says. He is also a long standing member with the Institute of Chartered Life Underwriters and Chartered Financial Consultants, the Canadian Tax Foundation, and the Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners


"Passing on values and life lessons to future generations and working to strengthen trust and solid communication within the family are the keys to multi-generational success, Markewich explains. "If you ask grandparents what they would like to see for their grandchildren, generally they would like to see family unity rather than discord as well as individual family members who are living full, and productive lives. Financial and estate planning will pass your assets to future generations, but it will not give your heirs  the necessary training , mentoring  or tools to effectively use those assets to live full, productive lives. This is why family coaching is so important, and it doesn't matter how large or small your estate is. Every family can benefit from family coaching."


Markewich gives an example of a family , where Dad owned a large retail furniture business and asked his three sons to come to Florida to go golfing with him. When they got there instead of going golfing he called them into his study and proceeded to lecture them for three hours about how they should run his business and what to do with their inheritance money. The children felt manipulated and didn't want to go back again or talk to him about these matters. "Clearly Dad cared about his business and his estate but he went about talking to his sons the wrong way. There needed to be a third party family coach there to monitor the conversation and  to span the generations. The conversation needed to be an adult to adult conversation, not communication between a father and his sons. A family coach could have helped  the parties have an adult to adult conversation about their inheritance. Similarly, if the sons did not want to run the family business a family coach could have helped  get this message across to Dad in a way that made him understand his children's decision. This would need to be explained properly to Dad so that he would be OK with it," Markewich says. 


Another example of when you may want to retain Markewich's services is if you are worried about your children and/or their spouses squandering their inheritance because they don't know how to save. "In these circumstances I recommend creating pre-inheritance experiences where children are given a little more responsibility in the family and are given some money and then they report to Mom and Dad about what they did with it. This way they can learn about how to manage money when their parents are still alive, before they get their full financial inheritance" Markewich explains


Markewich notes that his proudest achievement is his 30+ year marriage to Carol, and their 27 years of parenting four exceptional children


Markewich gives people who call him for advice a one hour  free consultation, and then outlines what his family coaching services would cost, which depends on the circumstances of what will be involved. He also travels across Canada to conduct family unity coaching and people outside of Winnipeg can also meet with him via skype.


If you think you  may be interested in his services don't hesitate to call Doug Markewich at (204) 981 1010 or email him at [email protected]  For more information go to to his website at








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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.