Having “The Talk”
Keep It LightHaving this discussion can bring up a lot of emotions for your loved ones; thinking about losing someone you love so dearly is painful. So keeping the conversation light but to the point can help keep it on track and productive. There may also be tensions that arise through the process — maybe multiple people want the same thing, or someone gets offended by how you’ve decided to split your money. You might consider having conversations with people individually to avoid upset.
Talk Openly and HonestlyA decision you have made may hurt someone’s feelings. There may be things you don’t want to tell people about, but it is crucial to be open and honest with your beneficiaries. For example, if you have an adult child who does not handle money well or has exhibited reckless behavior, you may feel it is appropriate to have a trust in place for that child. Both the beneficiary and the trustee should be aware of the situation. If you have children from more than one marriage, being open and honest with all of them is especially crucial.
Discuss Values, Not Just ValuablesWhen you die, how do you want people to remember you? What traditions, values, family names, rituals, religious beliefs do you want to live on? This is an important matter to bring up during discussions with your family. Think back on times that meant a great deal to your family or traditions that have brought joy. Talk about these things with your family to share how you feel and to learn how they feel.
Have a Professional PresentHaving a neutral party present, such as an estate planner or a qualified financial planner can be helpful, and in some cases, necessary. Utilize these important resources available to you, and allow them to answer questions your loved ones may have. You might have a family-only conversation first and then a second conversation with your family and the estate planning and financial planning professionals. Like any important discussion, this may be difficult. Our 2nd podcast episode, The Talk, goes in- depth about this important topic. Our podcast is available on our website’s Knowledge Center and wherever you may listen.
Copyright © 2019 This article is published in its original form from its original publication with Investment Answers and Integrated Concepts, a separate, non-affiliated business entity. The original newsletter publication, Investment Answers Financial Success Fall 2019, is intended to offer factual and up-to-date information on the subjects discussed but should not be regarded as a complete, evolving, or personalized analysis of the topics, and should not be construed as personalized investment advice. Qualified financial professionals should be consulted before implementing a personalized financial plan. Please reference the original publication for additional disclaimers.