The latest development in the sorry saga of the Jane family dispute is that Bob Jane's home has been ordered to be sold to repay a debt of almost $1 million to his son Rodney. This dispute which has seen multiple litigation over the past 5 years is one of the more extraordinary examples of how a breakdown in family trust can impact on a family business. A number of questions could be asked...was this preventable? What could this family have done to avoid what has been a costly a damaging sequence of events, both  financially and personally? Could an experienced family business consultant have been able to make a difference, if engaged early enough? Many family business disputes could be avoided by employing some sensible preventative maintenance, including laying down ground rules for resolving disagreements, and ensuring there are effective forums for communication when problems arise. The process of developing a Family Charter is a very effective method of achieving these goals.