The money talk that is worth having

Wealth Solutions

The money talk that is worth having

Family conversations around future inheritance do not have to be daunting

Learning how to have difficult conversations can boost a person’s self-awareness and sense of control, whether those conversations are about work, personal relationships or something even harder to talk about: money. The same goes for clients talking to their adult children about what to expect in terms of their estate and finances at their death or incapacity.  It’s a conversation often avoided, but is one of the most important discussions to have in order to make sure the parents’ estate plan is handled how they intended.

Some parents feel that this conversation could prevent their kids from being financially independent or could make them count too heavily on them for their future inheritance. But typically the underlying problem is a reluctance to talk about money. Here are some solutions to pass along to your clients:

Talk early and talk often.

  • Discussing major financial decisions is important.
  • The estate planning conversation should happen before a crisis happens.
  • The more frequent these discussions are, the less of a “big event” they become.

Ease into the subject.

  • Use a recent news article or a friend’s story as a way into the conversation.
  • Stress the practical nature of the conversation.
  • It is their plan, and it is important to discuss how the whole family will be affected.

Set up the framework.

  • In the initial conversation surrounding their overall plan, skip the dollar amounts. 
  • A better approach is to provide the framework that outlines their intentions.
  • Keep in mind that as life presents new circumstances, plans may change. 

What stops families from having difficult conversations they should have? In one word: fear. Fear of the consequences of having that conversation. In managing expectations, as you do with clients, being as specific and candid as possible in all family conversations benefits everyone involved. 

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