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By Josh Manifold | Principal | Advisor

I had a client call me and say, “Josh, I want to change the way my family talks about money.”

She said that in her family, when someone died on Wednesday, the family meeting would be held on Thursday. Attorneys would then lead a process to discuss the family’s assets and how it would all be divided. This process lends itself to shock and disappointment, creating a disconnect between the deceased’s life and the transaction of inheritance.

She had a clear vision of what she wanted to change. Her plan? “I’d like to host a family meeting, and you’re going to help me.” Music to our ears. We arranged a Zoom meeting with her son and daughter, who lived in different parts of the country.

During the meeting, we had the privilege of assuring the children that their mom would never be a financial burden on them. By embracing transparency, communicating this freedom gave her adult children peace of mind. They could plan their own finances without wondering if they would have to contribute to her care. We discussed various scenarios and cashflows, including taxes, insurance, and estate planning.

It also subtly communicated the expectation that they should be proactive. Their mom was well prepared, and they should do the same. In a significant way, it set an expectation along the lines of, “We’re the Smith family, and this is the new way the Smith family does things.”

These decisions have a lasting impact on the generations that follow you. Different families do it differently, but I encourage you to embrace transparency and proactive communication. If you want to pass on your legacy, this is a pivotal way to help do it.

On behalf of our team, I’d also like to put the same invitation out to you. If you have the desire to facilitate a similar conversation with your family, we would be honored to help.