To prepare for your family’s financial run down, it is necessary to assess financial sustainability in the long run.  Hosting a family meeting to understand the situation and the goals that you need to achieve is essential. Estate planning is not just about splitting wealth; it is about preserving family values and passing them on safely to future generations.

Where to Meet and Who to Invite

It is great to be around family and friends who live near each other, and it is relatively easier to decide the venue and time for the family meeting. However, if the entire family is spread out and distant from one another, it may be more difficult to get everyone together, plan, and decide meetings. Family reunions could also be great instances to discuss out family finances and planning. The location must also be comfortable but formal, so the family feels at home when deciding important factors.

The invitees should consist of your immediate family members. You can gradually involve members of your in-laws and grandchildren into the meeting. You must also consider which members of the family are more responsible, interested in family history, or are financially well-versed than others. This will allow you to assign relevant members of the family to advisors, trustees, and more.

Switch the roles if you want to avoid the burden and ensure female members of the family are part of the meeting. This is especially if they have some expertise in financial backgrounds. Working women can also act as financial advisors. Their skills can prove helpful while documenting crucial decisions and determining how they require implementation.

What Must Be Discussed During the Meeting?

You may have to cover a lot of topics, and there is no doubt you may find it difficult to speak about some particular matters. Nonetheless, you must still discuss them. Consider some of the following factors in the meeting:

  • Intentions- Evaluate what your family intends for the future, create a mission statement, and outline all values and objectives you wish to achieve together.
  • Higher education- Preserving future generations is a concern. Ensuring your generations receive family financial support can be a relief when your children obtain academic goals.
  • Support the working mothers- there may be a few working moms within your family who may have to make up for their living as a requirement. Ensure you establish financial policies that could assist them and their children to have a stable, bright future.
  • Be open to business plans- Investment opportunities are great, and if one member of your family is rooting for setting up a business, do not ignore any idea. Make sure you the member is not subject to gender discrimination. Give all members equal opportunity to discuss family matters and finances.
  • Transition- Assess changes in the family. Discuss marriages, divorces, beneficiary amendments, inheritances and any other adjustments. If a couple is opting for divorce, precisely plan out finances for both individuals and especially for the caregiver of the children

The matters may differ from one family to another, ensure to sort out everything. If the need arises, re-schedule another meeting after a year to assess how decisions may have been impacting lives.

 Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James.  The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.