Family Meetings

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“Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear mom. Happy Birthday to you! Now, let’s talk about your estate and who will look after the distribution when you pass away.” Not the warmest of segues to be heard at a birthday celebration. However, unless it is done, a very important conversation that families should have, will never take place.

The conversation about death and mortality is never a pleasant one. And, there is never an appropriate time to have it. If it’s too early, it seems unrealistic. If it’s too late, then opportunities may be missed. In most cases conversations are prompted out of necessity (i.e. terminal illness, death bed, etc.), if they’re even had at all.

But why is it important to have this conversation?

  1. Give opportunity to outline specific roles and responsibilities (i.e. executors; trustees; guardians; digital executors; etc.)
  2. Give opportunity to explain specific provisions in the will (i.e. unequal division of assets; why one child is an executor and the other is not; etc.)
  3. Direct where the executors should go to administer the assets (i.e. financial institutions; who to contact; etc.)
  4. Provide the forum for questions to be asked while they can be answered.

The challenge we see is that families don’t have or make the opportunity to conduct the conversation. Typically, families get together for special occasions or holidays. Hardly the time to have such a heavy conversation. A family meeting or specific visit must be scheduled. No grandchildren. No in-laws. Just parents and children. In doing so, all relevant people involved can participate freely without distractions or influence.

If you find that it is difficult to schedule one on your own, feel free to contact your advisor. At The McClelland Financial Group, we have facilitated many family meetings for our clients. We provide an impartial location, details of financials, a review of the estate documentation and general direction of the conversation.

Contact our office to schedule a Family Meeting with your advisor.

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