As we approach year end, it’s common for families and friends to gather and celebrate the
holiday season together. This can be an opportunity to have some meaningful conversations
around financial planning for future generations.
1. Why is Estate Planning Important?
We spend our entire lives working, saving and trying to accumulate wealth. Estate planning is
necessary to make sure your desires are fulfilled at the end of your life and possibly avoid or
minimize fees and taxes. A proper estate plan should allow you to distribute your assets and
investments to your loved ones as you see fit. Conversations about estate planning during
family gatherings can help alleviate apprehensions, resolve doubts, and potentially ensure
everyone feels secure and supported.
2. Open Communication and Understanding
The end of the year can provide a more relaxed atmosphere where family members can openly
communicate and engage in meaningful discussions. Estate planning involves addressing
sensitive topics such as end-of-life wishes, healthcare proxies, and beneficiary planning. Estate
planning documents include wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies/living wills, trusts,
and beneficiary designation forms. Discussing these matters within the context of a loving and
supportive environment can facilitate a better understanding of values and priorities and can
lay the groundwork for mutual respect and empathy within the family.
3. Fair Treatment and Avoiding Conflict
Estate planning can help prevent family disputes by clearly outlining how assets are to be
distributed. When families gather during the holiday season, it presents an opportunity to
discuss these decisions, reducing the risk of resentment or misunderstandings amongst family
members. By facilitating a fair and transparent process, the goal is to ensure that everyone is
treated fairly and that their concerns and expectations are acknowledged and respected.
4. Protecting Future Generations
Discussions surrounding estate planning can provide an ideal platform to convey the values and
lessons accumulated over a lifetime to the younger members of the family. It allows the
transfer of wisdom, knowledge, and important family stories while also imparting the
importance of financial responsibility and of planning for the future. By involving younger
family members in these discussions, they can gain insight into the family’s wealth
management, fostering a sense of responsibility and stewardship for future generations.
Estate planning conversations can be positive! While estate planning might not appear to be
the most cheerful topic of conversation during end-of-year gatherings, it is undoubtedly one of
the most important discussions a family can have. By weaving estate planning conversations
into the fabric of family traditions, we can create a beautiful legacy of unity, understanding, and
preparedness for the future.
Securities offered through IFP Securities, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice
offered through IFP Advisors, LLC, a registered investment adviser. IFP and Generations
Planning Group, LLC are not affiliated.