I'll try to give my answers of these Finance questions:
1. How can people protect themselves against unforeseen personal events, as well as those in the external economy? I think people should try to save money. Then in case of unforeseen personal events, they will be more protected. Also people should try to invest not only in savings (money), but in something else like: lands, flats/houses, gold, silver, etc., i.e. diversification.
I don't understand well what is this "external economy", but I'd like to advise you to read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality about the externality.
2. How can family assets best be transferred across generations (bequests and inheritance)? The easiest way is to have only one child. In this case it's so simple and clear, I think.
3. How does tax policy (tax subsidies and/or penalties) affect personal financial management? Simple -- more taxes or penalties = less money.
4. How does credit affect an individual's financial standing? Depends of the certain individual. If he or she is able to earn well and got some great business ideas, then a credit is very welcome! But if he or she is just poor and haven't any good business ideas, then a credit may be a trouble. Learn more about the loan servicing -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loan_servicing
5. How can one plan for a secure financial future in an environment of economic instability? Oh, it's not very easy, in my point of view. The best, in my opinion, is this one to change his/her own environment and just to move from the environment of economic instability to an environment of economic stability. Otherwise, I think, he/she needs to read and learn a lot Economics and Finance, and Philosophy, Psychology, etc., as well, in order to get more knowledge about the world around. If you have better or/and just more ideas, please share them here! Thank you in advance!