When it comes to financial wellness, end-of-life planning is a critical component of an airtight plan. And in today’s complex environment, it’s never been more important to consider the future of your finances. When you’re no longer able to manage them, how do you want your finances supervised and distributed?
It’s a difficult question, but an important one to consider.
Generational meetings are a beneficial tool for ensuring your wishes are adhered to in the event of your passing. In a generational meeting, your financial adviser will sit down with you and one or two generations of your family members to discuss your assets and desires. These meetings help you and your loved ones prepare for the unexpected and smoothly handle financial transactions well into the future.
Here are three key reasons to consider setting up a generational meeting:
1. Ensures there’s a plan in place when the unprecedented happens
We all know that 2020 was a year unlike any other, and it’s a reminder how quickly life can change. When the unexpected happens, a generational meeting will have ensured that your family members know exactly what to do to carry out your wishes.
During the meeting, your financial adviser will cover a variety of topics to form a rock-solid plan for your finances. You’ll be asked to express your desires, and as a group you will be able to consider different strategies. For example, if you’d like to include charitable giving in your plan, your adviser might recommend those funds come from an IRA so that your beneficiaries don’t have to pay taxes on them. And once you have your generational meeting, the executor of your estate will know exactly where all of your assets are—so nothing will fall through the cracks.
There’s been a recent shift in the finance industry from a certain secrecy surrounding finances to a desire to discuss end-of-life planning more openly. More people are realizing the benefits of securing a plan.
2. Minimizes the stress of planning for the future of your finances
Handling the finances of a loved one who’s passed on can be a stressful, emotional experience when there’s no plan in place. A generational meeting, and the order it provides, significantly reduces the stress of this situation—for both you and your family members.
A well-planned financial estate allows loved ones to grieve easier, without the pressure of answering “now what?” This is truly the primary benefit of generational meetings: providing that sense of relief in a difficult time. Your executors will know exactly where to start, and won’t be left with questions. And as you progress through your retirement, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your plan has already been established and your family is prepared.
An important thing to remember is that these tough conversations do not need to happen repeatedly.
This meeting helps to bring clarity to your desires which reduces the strain on some beneficiary relationships. It minimizes potential disputes that can result in estranged relationships after one passes.
3. Takes the pressure off of you to communicate complex financial plans
End-of-life financial conversations can be difficult, but conducting them in a professional setting, with a financial adviser present to talk through the specifics, makes them significantly more comfortable.
Your adviser will know which questions to ask to make sure all the necessary boxes are being checked, and that everyone understands their part. For example, does your daughter know she is the executor of your estate? Does your son understand his role? These questions will lend themselves to further discussion and ensure all parties feel confident with the plan.
These meetings are a huge benefit to not just you, but to the remaining beneficiaries and role players. And once these conversations have been addressed, there is relief for all. Then it’s just a matter of maintenance.
End-of-life planning is part of a complete financial plan. In fact, estate planning is technically the sixth area of financial planning. Your financial adviser will be committed to ensuring your estate is distributed per your wishes and your assets are transferred effectively and as tax efficiently as possible.