May 25, 2020

Bill was a family man who could fix anything, and his children grew up counting on that. He wasn't the most communicative person, but he was a devoted father.

When Bill passed away suddenly, the family was heartbroken. When his will was read, his daughters experienced a sense of abandonment. They could not understand the choices he had made in his estate plan. This lack of communication and confusion led to family conflict and eventually to no interaction at all.

Bill was a kind and loving father, and his family was close. But by excluding his children from financial conversations and decisions on his estate plan, Bill set in motion a series of unintended consequences.

Unfortunately, in the financial planning business we see far too many parents avoid talking about money. But when the kids are grown, it’s in everybody’s best interest to have open and honest conversations about your financial situation and it’s often up to you, the parent, to initiate the discussion.

As your primary advisor for your wealth, we are here to help facilitate that discussion with the family and ensure continuity of wealth through generations. We encourage you to read the article “5 Family Engagement Rules of Thumb”. The article will give you a strong foundation on how to have productive, healthy family conversations about money that will benefit all members of the family over time. It is a common fear that financial topics, and particularly estate planning decisions, will stir up family conflict.

Points to ponder:

  1. Every financial decision has the power to create closeness or distance in a family.
  2. Allowing others to have a voice does not mean giving up control.
  3. Fair is not always equal.
  4. You don’t have to tell them everything.
  5. Uncover your own motivation behind behaviours and decisions.

There are many reasons why discussing financial matters with your adult children is important. For a full version of the above article, or to discuss how you can get the conversations started with your family, give us a call.

Financial conversations aren’t always easy, but they’re a great long-term investment.

This information has been prepared by Terry Lynn Adamson, CFP®, FMA who is a Senior Investment Advisor for HollisWealth®. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the Investment Advisor only and do not necessarily reflect those of HollisWealth®. HollisWealth® is a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.