Regardless of how we do as investors, savers, and planners, other people are nearly always impacted by our decisions and actions.
MarketWatch’s recent article, “How to talk to your family about your estate plan,” says that frequently those most affected are the ones about whom we care the most. Children, grandchildren, spouses and partners, perhaps even our own parents, all have an interest in our finances.
People are uncomfortable talking about financial matters, even with those loved ones and family members who have a legitimate right to know about it. Families will ask about what’s in a person’s will, who you want to make healthcare decisions if you’re unable, and what are your thoughts on end-of-life options and choices.
It’s hard to envision how you would actually sit down with your heirs and explain what’s contained in your will. If you have a “blended” household with multiple generations, you’ll need to attempt to peacefully negotiate the division of expenses and responsibilities.
What’s the secret to a successful family financial meeting?
Unfortunately, there are no magic answers to make this easy. However, you can move the ball by taking the time to consider what’s most important to you. Although they seem to be about money, many critical family conversations center upon about values. This makes it a bit easier, because it’s much easier to talk about “values” than to talk about money.
You’ll still need to think about the specific bequests in our wills, because you may have children and grandchildren with varying circumstances and stations in life. You also need to think about whether to make one-of-a-kind gifts to each child and grandchild, according to what you believe would be best—or try to be “fair” and give each person an equal share.
While it can be difficult, having conversations like these can be one of the best gifts you can give your family.
Reference: MarketWatch (September 9, 2017) “How to talk to your family about your estate plan”