Discussing the inevitable passing of your wealth although difficult, is important for your family wealth plan. Periodic family meetings can go a long way to making the transition smoother for your beneficiaries. The wealthy have long held family meetings to discuss sustaining your wealth and their charitable endeavors, and you don’t have to have enormous wealth to benefit from involving your family in the planning process.
Family Meetings can help the head of the family:
- Communicate their wishes to their children prior to them passing or becoming incapacitated.
- Overcome the reluctance to talk about family money or difficult estate planning issues such as wills and long-term care by having Fichter Wealth facilitate.
- Minimize emotion by building an open information culture between clients and their children/heirs.
- Clarify the components of assets, insurance, wills, and trusts.
- Discuss how assets such as second homes and heirlooms will be distributed.
- Reduce potential for family disagreements over inheritances.
- Discuss the client’s health care directives and end of life choices.
We believe a formal family meeting, facilitated by our office, provides a comfortable structure to share and discuss the plans put into place well before they are needed. The Family Meeting consists of:
- Reviewing the topics you are comfortable discussing and those topics you do not want to discuss.
- Ability to communicate location of important documents such as: checking; savings; investments; and insurance policies.
- Sharing of how the will, trusts and insurance policies are structured.
- Discussion on living wills and health care powers of attorney so the family is clear on any end of life choices already made, including funeral and long-term care arrangements.
- Opportunity for children to build relationship with Fichter Wealth advisors and understand the services we can provide the family in their time of need.
- Introduce younger generations to financial planning, goal setting and financial advice.
- Introduce clients’ children to other professionals who will help carry out their parents’ wishes.
Family meetings are held once every few years, and our families typically involve their spouse, children, grandchildren (if they are old enough), children’s spouses (who often have substantial influences on your heirs), other relatives and other professionals they work with in the process.
While family meetings are not democracies, they are an excellent opportunity for heads of the family to hear feedback and possibly refine their estate plan if necessary. Fichter Wealth provides Family Meetings as a value-added service to our existing clients. Call us at 716-631-3232 for more information.