If you have built any sort of nest egg for yourself, your spouse and/or your family, you should not keep it a secret. Parents and children must regularly communicate with one another regarding financial affairs. One of the best ways to discuss these important matters is through a family meeting. Once you sit down with your loved ones in the family office and talk about existing savings and future financial goals, you will all enjoy a peace of mind that is absolutely priceless.
What an Effective Family Meeting Will do for Your Family
Every wealthy family should have the goal of assuring its legacy far into the future. An effective family meeting regarding finances will comprehensively identify all family assets, explain the wealth building strategy, put emergency plans into place and establish realistic short-term and long-term financial goals. Involve the entire family in the meeting, regardless of age in order to teach new generations about family finances and get everyone on the same page.
Maintain an Open Forum
While it is prudent to establish a written agenda for your family meeting, it is also important to open the discussion up to all sorts of questions, comments and concerns. Your spouse might have concerns about the nuances of your will while your child might raise questions about the intricacies of a trust. Make it clear to everyone that this is an open-ended dialogue rather than a monologue. Do not put any limitations on the family meeting in terms of its subject matter and everyone will benefit from the discussion.
Reveal the Entire Wealth Picture
It is imperative that the family elders share all information regarding family assets, businesses, potential inheritances and expectations. Even if your children are rather young, they should still have an understanding of the entire wealth picture. Clearly explain how much money the family has, how it is invested, what will happen in the event of a family sickness/death and how the money should be managed as time marches forward. Full transparency in terms of financial assets and goals will help all family members get a sense of the bigger picture and ameliorate the financial planning process in the event that a family elder becomes sick or passes away.
Involve a Family Wealth Education Expert
For some families, relying on financial planners and attorneys who handle legal documents like estate plans, wills, deeds and trusts will not feel like a foolproof means of establishing plans for a multi-generational wealth transfer. Other families will recognize the fact that financial advisers can provide unique insight in terms of wealth building strategies for the present and the future. Such insight can greatly improve family dynamics as it will quell fears regarding family finances and potential scenarios that could arise across posterity. Do not hesitate to reach out to such an adviser to sit-in on your face-to-face family meetings or at least help you delve into these complex financial matters in-depth before the meeting occurs. His presence in the meeting room will undoubtedly ameliorate any concerns regarding inheritances, emergency plans, tax complexities and investment strategies.
Keywords: single family office, multi-family office, family intervention, inheritance, gifting, SFO, MFO