One of the misconceptions about family financial meetings is that they are only necessary for the wealthy, or a business owner. While the level of wealth, or owning a business, will certainly dictate the complexity of the meeting, the primary reason for a family meeting is to increase communication.
Your family has their own unique set of characteristics, beliefs, values and goals that will play a role in your financial and estate plans. There are also different comfort levels when it comes to discussing your plans, so meetings should be adjusted to meet your levels of comfort. Depending on your family, the conversations could be broad and high level or more specific and disclose a greater level of detail.
The goal is not only to create an open dialogue, but to educate all parties involved. The meeting allows for your children, or beneficiaries, to gain a better understanding of your wishes and intentions. If expectations are set and explanations are given, the likelihood of conflict is decreased. For example, when it comes to estate planning and assigning roles, it is important for each child or beneficiary to understand why a named individual was selected and the responsibilities that person will assume. At the same time, it would also be helpful to share the names of your trusted advisors as well as the location of your pertinent documents.
At Ciccarelli Advisory Services, we assist our clients with annual family meetings. We help prepare the agenda, circulate meeting notes and keep the ball moving forward. We hope the strategies and plans that we may recommend help to support your family’s dreams, and enhance the quality of life for everyone involved. If you are ready to take this next step and learn more about family meetings, please contact your CAS financial advisor.