-un- Prepared

“unPrepared raises the question every family ought to be asking: How can we best prepare our children to handle the burdens of wealth? I wholeheartedly commend it.”

~ David Green

No one likes negative surprises, especially after planning carefully to avoid them. Merely sounding the alarm on the hidden dangers of inherited wealth does little to solve the problems. And sometimes the greatest risks aren’t foreseen. These pages contain insights and best practices from an array of experts in the legacy field.Focused catalytic questions will help you look for vulnerabilities in your plan. Consider these simple questions:

• Will your heirs beat the odds?
• How prepared are they?
• What are the leading indicators of being prepared?
• Whose responsibility is it?
• What is the price of preparation? Price of failure to prepare?

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About the Authors

Tom Conway leads Conway & Associates, focusing on CLARITY, ALIGNMENT, and COMMUNICATION within families. After gaining clarity around their goals in five areas of legacy (personal, family, financial, business, and philanthropic), they ensure that the existing plan aligns with that clarity. Finally, they help the family communicate their plan to the next generations.

Tom’s Stewardship Legacy Coaching process helps families gain confidence in what they believe God wants them to do with their resources. Quantifying their needs for the future, what they wish to leave for their family, what they will do with their business, and how the remainder of their resources can be released to organizations that reflect their values often leads to a zero IRD and estate tax situation.

A CPA by training, Tom has served with numerous financial service and ministry organizations such as Ernst & Young, Cru, Ronald Blue & Co., Perimeter Church, Generous Giving, Inc., National Christian Foundation, and Kingdom Advisors. Prior to starting Conway & Associates, he was the Vice President of Donor and Advisor Services for Haggai Institute in Atlanta. Tom is a Qualified Kingdom Advisor and contributing author to the book unHeritage: The 11 Pitfalls of Family Legacy and How to Avoid Them.

Living and serving in Africa for several years and working extensively in Europe, Asia, and Russia has enhanced Tom’s global Christian perspective. He and his wife, Susan, have been married for 38 years, have four children and eight grandchildren, and live in Atlanta, Georgia.


Lori Coonen is a Heritage Design Professional™ trained and certified by The Heritage Institute, Appleton, WI. Working alongside families for over 20 years, she helps to connect generations, enhance communication and leadership skills, and provide opportunities to identify common values and purpose to strengthen and unify families.

With her team, Lori focuses on creating thriving families by guiding clients to imagine and describe the legacy they want to live now and the legacy they wish to leave. To achieve the desired outcomes for the family, she helps prepare the family and their heirs through intergenerational mentoring and coaching. Lori also facilitates family meetings to create a culture of communication and trust that supports a strong multi-generational family unit. In the process, she also builds and facilitates collaborative teams that include the clients and their other professional advisors.

Lori is a lifelong learner and continues to enhance her skills to better serve her clients. Early in her career, she received her CFP™ from the College of Financial Planning, Denver, CO, and most recently completed the Facilitating Effective Communication & Dynamics Program. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports, reading, watching her favorite NFL team – the Green Bay Packers, driving and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles with her husband, Roland, and their daughter, Miranda. Lori is actively serving in her church and several other community and national organizations.


Combining an entrepreneurial spirit with a missional focus, Todd DeKruyter (duh-’kry-ter) uses his financial and philanthropic expertise to help families and individuals stay true to what matters as they navigate professional and financial success.

Todd has eight years of experience as an executive at Larson Financial, where he also chaired Larson Financial’s Advisor Advancement committee and served on the Larson Financial Foundation board.

Todd has founded two businesses: DK Financial Group and Reclamation Builders. As the CEO of DK Financial Group, Todd focuses on businesses in culture development and transitions and on organizations and individuals in the financial services industry and the generosity movement. He also runs Reclamation Builders, reclaiming homes by purchasing, renovating, and reselling them.

Todd is a Chartered Financial Consultant™ (ChFC®) and a member of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Indianapolis, serving on their board as the chair of the pro-bono committee.

In partnership with Tom Martin CFP®, a partner of Larson Financial, Todd contributed to the book For Doctor’s Eyes Only: Executive Financial Strategies for Today’s Doctors and Dentists. He co-hosts the For Doctor’s Eyes Only podcast, focusing on topics of money, marriage, family, and life to over 15,000 subscribers.

Todd earned his Bachelor’s degree from Huntington University in Bible and Religion and his Master’s in Christian Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Janelle, and their two sons and two daughters.


Daryle Doden is the founder and CEO of Ambassador Enterprises, a philanthropic equity firm investing for the glory of God – the building of his kingdom, the betterment of mankind, and financial sustainability – in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

Ambassador is committed to long-term strategic relationships based on shared vision, mutual value exchange, and three essential characteristics:

2.Relational compatibility
3.Strategic alignment

Daryle began his entrepreneurial career in 1974 when he, along with four partners, started Ambassador Steel Corporation. The founders had a common goal of business excellence and faith integration. The company sold in 2008 as the largest independent distributor and fabricator of rebar in the United States with annual revenues surpassing $500 million and a reputation for high trust, high care, and high performance.

Daryle was raised in a pastor’s home in northern Indiana. He received a diploma in Sacred Music from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where he met his wife, Brenda. They have five children and eleven grandchildren. He continued his education at Bethel College, Mishawaka, Ind., earning a B.A. in Biblical Studies and Musical Performance.

With a strong emphasis on life-long learning, Daryle has received most of his education from hands-on experience in the marketplace – success and failure in the arena of life. He is a strong believer that the very best learners are humble enough to learn from others as well as to admit and learn from their own mistakes.

Daryle has served on various boards and committees over the years including Cedarville University, Lakewood Park Baptist Church, and the DeKalb County Council. He also served on the alumni board of his alma mater, Moody Bible Institute, and is currently a member of the DeKalb County YMCA board.


Steve Gardner is an author, editor, executive coach (CPC), and songwriter. He recently ended eight years of full-time service with Ambassador Enterprises, most recently as the leader of Legal and Legacy. He continues to write for them on a contract basis while pursuing his freelance career as a writer for multiple organizations. Prior to Ambassador, Steve wrote and edited books, multimedia products, and global training materials for Crown Financial Ministries. He hosted “Three Men and a Book,” a monthly radio program and co-hosted the broadcast, “Marriage Matters,” with his wife, Maria.

Steve began writing curricula in 1996 as a Vice President with Emerging Young Leaders, and has co-written or edited more than twenty books as well as dozens of study curricula for books and movies.

Since graduating from Wheaton College with a major in Anthropology, Steve and Maria have traveled five continents as concert and recording artists, recording 16 albums and performing more than 4,000 concerts and 1,000 TV appearances. Continuing to perform and lead worship in a variety of settings, they have been married forty-nine years and have one daughter and three grandchildren.

Steve enjoys a variety of sports including tennis, squash, scuba, and downhill skiing. At Blackhawk Ministries in Fort Wayne, he and Maria co-lead Double Exposure, a Sunday-morning Life Group, and Marriage Matters, a ministry to strengthen families. They also serve as deacons, shepherding other Life Group leaders.


Bill High is the Chief Executive Officer of National Christian Foundation Heartland. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisors, sharing the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. Much of that work includes advising on issues of income tax planning, business sale, real estate and estate planning. Bill instructs families in documenting their family vision and creating mission statements.

Bill is a visionary leader energized by people and ideas. He loves to learn, innovate, and strategize on how new ideas or new approaches to current methods might escalate growth. Bill founded iDonate.com, a fundraising software company that provides an online marketing solution for nonprofits to market and receive gifts of all kinds, including cash, text, credit card, and non-cash gifts. He also founded Christian Foundation Grants, a member-based service available to Christian nonprofits and churches.

A published author and conference speaker, Bill is the general editor of Grants and More for Christian Ministries, and a contributing author to Why the Conservative Mind Matters and unHeritage. He recently authored Stories of the Generous Life and its sequel, The Generosity Bet.

His newest book is Giving It All Away…And Getting It Back Again, written with David Green of Hobby Lobby.

Prior to joining the NCF Heartland in 2000, Bill was a partner with Blackwell Sanders LLP, an international law firm. He remains Of Counsel with the law firm Sanders Warren & Russell LLP. Bill has been married to his wife, Brooke, for more than 25 years. They have four children: Ashley, Jessica, Nathan, and Joseph, as well as one grandson and one granddaughter.


Frank Mullins knows from personal experience the disastrous effects of failed traditional asset and tax-driven estate planning. A member of the third generation of what was once an affluent family, Frank has personally experienced the painful reality of the American proverb, “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” The opportunity to help other families successfully reach their desired planning outcomes fuels Frank’s passion to serve. He has coined the term “Family-centric Planning” to describe and differentiate his process that starts with identification of each family’s qualitative outcomes.

Frank has been in the financial planning and wealth management business for 21 years. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) since 2001, Frank holds the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation from the American college. After building his own successful RIA firm in 2002, he sold it in 2013 to pursue the relatively new profession of wealth transition planning. As an independent consultant to affluent families who desire to optimize their human capital, Frank facilitates family meetings, creates customized family governance systems, and serves as a distribution trustee and mentor to some of his clients’ adult children. Collaborating with other like-minded professionals is foundational to Frank’s business model.

A recovering codependent, Frank has served in leadership for several Celebrate Recovery (CR) ministries over the last 14 years. CR is a worldwide Christ-centered 12-step program for people with “hurts, habits and hang-ups.”

Originally from Waco, Frank and his wife of 21 years, Maria, reside in New Braunfels, Texas.

Their daughter, Ellie, attends Abilene Christian University.


Jerry Nuerge, cofounder of the Center for Family Conversations and owner of the Financial Independence Group, has a rich background in family coaching and financial planning. He is also the creator of the Wealth Integration and Transfer System™, the Generation Connection Process™, and the Revenue Retrieval System™.

Jerry is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), a Certified Family Wealth Counselor (CFWC), and a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). A lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), he has qualified for its “Top of the Table.” Jerry belongs to the National Estate Planning Council, the Society of Financial Service Professionals, and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).

A member of Kingdom Advisors (KA), Jerry is also a charter member of the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy (AiP), and served as president in 2009.

Prior to his career in financial services, Jerry captained the Ohio University hockey team and earned his BBA degree. While completing his MBA at the University of Toledo, he bought the Toledo hockey team (IHL) and was co-owner and GM for three years.

Jerry has been married to his wife, Sharon, since 1967, has three children and eight grandchildren, all living in the Fort Wayne, IN area.

Jerry teaches financial planning courses and consults with nonprofit organizations, helping them capture hundreds of millions of social capital dollars in their communities. He authored The Priceless Gift and co-authored Family Wealth Counseling: Getting to the Heart of the Matter and unHeritage: 11 Pitfalls to Family Legacy and How to Avoid Them.


Alan Pratt, CEP, CAP, is a family legacy advisor specializing in philanthropy and family wealth preservation. He brings a unique blend of personal experience and technical knowledge to the estate planning process, helping families understand, in plain English, their options for preserving wealth in a way that honors their underlying values. Alan’s company, Pratt Legacy Advisors, has created Legacy Planning from the Heart™, a process to integrate life experiences and enhanced family communication within the estate planning process.

Alan is in demand as a conference speaker dealing with family relationships, wealth preservation, and stewardship. He is recognized as a leader in Advanced Life Insurance designs, strategically using these to transition family wealth responsibly.

Having earned his Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation in 2006, Alan currently serves as the Chief Ambassador of The International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy (AIP). In 2007, he became a founding member of the Seattle Philanthropic Advisors Network (SPAN) and currently serves on the Board as Vice President. He is an active member of the National Institute of Certified Estate Planners, Washington Planned Giving Council, and the Seattle Chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Alan serves on the Advisory Board of the Chief Seattle Council–Boy Scouts of America and the Seattle Christian Community Foundation.

Alan and his wife, Helen, were married in 1984 and have three children.


Jeff Rogers, CKA®, CEP®, founder and chairman of Stewardship Legacy Coaching, LLC, is a family and business legacy coach/advocate with over 30 years of experience helping clients create a thriving family legacy. With an extensive background in zero-estate-tax planning as well as asset protection, strategic and tactical tax planning, and charitable giving strategies, he often assists business owners to dramatically increase the profitability and value of their business while preparing the next generation of leaders for effectively passing the baton. His company also helps businesses create continuity with succession and exit plans when founders or owners desire to transfer or liquidate.

Jeff is a featured author of an upcoming ForbesBooks title: Create a Thriving Family Legacy: How to Share Wealth and Wisdom with Your Children and Grandchildren. He has written articles for Bloomberg, Businessweek, Fortune, Money, and Entrepreneur magazines and is currently writing several books relating to family and business legacy, wealth management, and estate planning.

As a charter member of Kingdom Advisors, Jeff received the Larry Burkett Award in 2013. One of his greatest joys is coaching individuals in thinking deeply about their family legacy through the lens of biblical stewardship and an eternal perspective. In the process, he has assisted clients in gifting over $900 million to various ministries.

Jeff and his wife, Cathy, are active in their local church and enjoy traveling, concerts, and spending time with friends. Jeff also enjoys God’s creation while hunting or boating.


Johnne Syverson has more than 40 years of experience helping individuals, families, and business owners design and plan their futures. He is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) Practitioner and one of only 1,800 practitioners in the United States who is credentialed as an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP).

Johnne serves as a resource to other professionals in the area of charitable tax planning, a strategy that enables individuals to increase their income, reduce taxes, and preserve their estate for their heirs and the charities of their choice. As one of only 60 Heritage Design Professionals (HDP) in the United States who has been certified by The Heritage Institute, he teaches families how to pass on their values to the next generation and prepare their heirs to receive their financial and emotional inheritance.

Johnne is past president of the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy (AiP) and past president of the Mid-Iowa Estate Planning Council. Currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI), he is also a member of FamilyBusiness.ag, helping farm families with their business transitions. Johnne holds a Master of Science degree in Financial Services (MSFS) from the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA.

He and his wife, Linda, live in West Des Moines, Iowa, and have three adult children and nine grandchildren.


Louis Upkins, CEO of Upkins & Co, is passionate about purposeful living and the impact it can have as he coaches families regarding legacy creation.

As an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and ally in the entertainment industry, Louis conducted projects as diverse as brokering deals between Oprah and Starbucks, and consulting on national campaigns for the likes of McDonald’s, Gap, and UPS.

After serving as CEO of The Lifebook Company, a Partner of Executive Development at GiANT Impact, and a national speaker at Lifework Leaders, he has turned his attention to the one thing that he believes matters most for businesses and individuals – a life lived with purpose.

A graduate of Leadership Nashville in 2004 and Leadership Middle Tennessee in 2006, Louis serves on the boards of Scott Hamilton (CARES), NASBA Center for Public Trust, Friends of Warner Park, and the Executive Board of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. He has previously served on the boards of the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Leadership Middle Tennessee, Adventure Science Museum and New Hope Academy in Franklin, TN.

Louis works to move leaders and families from idea creation to innovation and manifestation ‒ living intentionally. His life’s mission is to help all people find the purpose that is so instrumental in making individuals and companies successful, and then put that purpose into a tangible plan of action.