The last taboo?
Money is often a taboo subject, and many people prefer to talk about almost anything other than money with their loved ones. In particular, parents are often reluctant to talk to their children (or childrens’ spouses) about their assets. This may be because they:
- Believe it’s none of their business
- Think it’s not polite to talk about money
- Don’t trust them to keep the information private
- Don’t want their children to feel they can rely on their parents’ money instead of making their own way
The great divide
Whatever the reason, families may find themselves unable to bridge the money conversation gap. Some people may think that there is plenty of time to talk about it in the future. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Accidents happen or illness can strike. What starts as forgetfulness or minor confusion may progress to where one is no longer able to share the details or values of financial responsibility. We believe that those who are knowledgeable about family assets earlier in life are often better stewards of the family wealth in years to come.
Acting now can protect you later
“Taking a few simple steps now can help you and your family avoid potential problems in the future,” Shomari Gilyard, CFP, Director, Wealth Planning at Klingenstein Fields Advisors recommends. “Start a conversation about your finances, especially with your adult children. When they participate in the development of your estate and financial plan, they are less likely to be surprised by what is expected of them, and you can be more confident that your plans for your family will be executed and maintained.”
Organize, organize, organize
Keeping your financial life in order may make the conversation easier and more productive. Maintain a complete list of all your financial relationships with account numbers in a safe place that a trusted family member or other designated person can access if needed. This can help you now and give you peace of mind in the future. Shomari explains, that “while this can seem like a daunting task, KF Advisors can provide a Personal Document Locator to help our clients. In one place, you can record key contacts, account information, and a location key to inform your agents where important personal, legal and financial documents, information and assets are located and how to access them.” Of course, it is crucial to remember to keep your information up-to-date with periodic reviews or whenever you open new accounts, close old ones or change contacts.
Checks and balances
Including your trusted advisors in the conversation is important because they can help monitor your financial life and day-to-day activity to make sure no one is trying to take advantage of your situation. They can also work together to make sure your intentions are upheld in the event you are no longer able to do so.
Here for our clients
KF Advisors is committed to helping our clients bridge the money conversation gap with your family. We encourage you to communicate to us any major developments in your life that may occur so that we can help you and your family keep your wealth plan on track for generations to come. As always, we welcome your input and thoughts.