Wealth management: It's good to talk

Stephen Blakemore Rathbones

If approached in the right way, family get-togethers can present a great opportunity to discuss your financial plans.

Conversations about money are rarely straightforward, particularly when they involve family. Your financial plans could be an area of strong debate, where different emotions, values and expectations collide.

That’s why it’s a good idea to take advantage of a time when your family is together to discuss your financial plans and ensure you’re all on the same page.

Here are some of the issues to consider:

1. Include everyone’s views

Decisions are usually best taken together as a family, but it’s unlikely everyone will see things the same way. Get them involved now to avoid disagreements later.

2. Plan ahead

Before your family meeting, put together a loose agenda covering the topics to discuss – for example ‘my will’, ‘charity gifting’ and ‘inheritance plans’ – and give everyone a copy.

This will help everyone to stay on track and make sure you cover all the areas you want to discuss with your family without forgetting anything.

3. Make a list

Note down administration points like the whereabouts of information that your family will need after you die – like your will and powers of attorney.

Include contact information for your financial planner, accountant, tax adviser and other professionals you deal with, and don’t forget details of your online accounts and identities.

4. Speak to a financial planner

Once you have some action points, speak to your financial planner and solicitor about the next steps in making them happen.

They’ll work with you at every stage to strike the right balance between giving money away and retaining control, while helping you stay financially secure for the rest of your life.

In addition to this they could also be party to the meeting and act as a neutral, third party to help keep discussions on track, especially if people’s views differ.

Our experience is that things work best when families have open conversations, include everyone in the process and get organised.

By talking about areas like long-term financial planning, gifting and plans for your wealth before and after your death, you’ll have peace of mind knowing everyone is informed.

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