A New Tradition: Family Wealth Planning Conversations

Whether it's gathering for an annual reunion, recounting an anecdote about quirky Uncle Jim or simply being there for one another during difficult times, family traditions are the comfort food that nourishes our most satisfying relationships. We'd like you to consider beginning a new and important family tradition: family wealth planning conversations.

What Are Family Wealth Planning Conversations (And Why Have Them)?

At their best, family wealth planning conversations engage every family member, each of you contributing your talents and interests to achieving your collective and personal lifetime goals.

That's not to say everyone must participate equally. As we work with families, one individual often emerges as the spokesperson or steward for the group. That's fine … if the role is based on a mutual and deliberately planned arrangement. If it is instead based on unspoken assumptions or force of habit, your family wealth planning may benefit from a fresh conversation.

Even if your family is in full agreement on who is best suited to champion its interests, there's always life's many "what ifs." Are others in your family adequately prepared to assume the stewardship role when and if it is required of them? Might they have unexpressed questions or concerns that are best addressed well before that day may arrive? Carving out time to hold candid conversations is where it all begins.

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Let Us Guide Your New Tradition

To kick off your family wealth planning conversation, you might want to explore key considerations such as:

  • How would each of you define your roles in your family wealth planning?
  • Are each of you satisfied with your current roles?
  • Do all family members have the essential information should they be required to increase their participation? (For example, do they know how to be in touch with your financial professionals directly?)
  • Are there other questions, suggestions or family wealth dynamics you'd like to explore, either immediately or over time?
  • How could a financial advisor like Berno Financial Management best assist each of you in these and other areas?

We encourage you to think outside the box on this! For example, even though certain family members have never joined in prior conversations about family wealth, we encourage you to include them at this time. You may well discover insights about one another that could strengthen both your financial conversations as well as your overall family dynamics.

As tradition suggests, we also hope you'll consider this the first in a recurring conversation. Regardless of who may be "in charge" of your family wealth, all of you are equally as dependent on the outcome of the efforts. Enabling a forum for everyone's voice to be heard is another way you can help all family members achieve their greatest life goals, keeping your family's wealth fresh and meaningful over time.