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A group having a family meeting for wealth planning and discussions about wealth management

Hosting family meetings for affluent Jacksonville residents becomes essential when navigating the complexities of wealth inheritance, aiming to align family members with shared understanding and objectives. Such gatherings can transform the daunting task of wealth distribution into an engaging and harmonious process.  Yet, even if the family does not consider itself wealthy, family meetings about wealth management and planning are essential to ensure that the parents’ values and financial goals are honored by their children and grandchildren.

Kiplinger’s article entitled “It’s Never Too Late for a Family Meeting – Here’s How to Do Them Well” emphasizes that no matter the amount of wealth that a family has, wealth education is crucial to overall financial education, preparing for the future and to becoming a good steward of an inheritance.  This article explains how effective communication, financial education, and shared goals can strengthen family unity, prepare heirs for inheritance responsibilities, and ensure a lasting legacy.

Why Are Family Meetings an Important Part of Estate Planning?

Family meetings are a great way of bringing members of a family together with a goal of facilitating communication and education. This allows for sharing family stories, communicating values, setting goals to help ensure transparency and helping members across generations understand their roles around stewardship and wealth.

Estate planning, as explained in the video below, extends beyond mere legal documentation; it encompasses ensuring your family comprehends your wishes and the reasoning behind them. Family meetings serve as a pivotal platform for promoting transparency, clarifying decisions, and addressing potential conflicts directly, thus avoiding surprises that could arise later.

What Are Family Meetings Intended to Accomplish?

The primary objectives of family meetings in wealth planning include:

      1. Clarifying the Estate Plan: Offering a detailed explanation of the estate plan, including the distribution of assets and the rationale behind specific decisions.
      2. Addressing Potential Conflicts: Providing a forum to discuss and resolve any potential disagreements or concerns regarding the estate plan.
      3. Educational Opportunity: Educating family members about key estate planning concepts, such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives.

Why Wealth Education is Essential for Families

The lack of financial education in public schooling leaves many young adults ill-prepared for managing personal finances, more so for substantial inheritances. This deficiency calls for proactive measures from parents to impart financial wisdom, ensuring their adult children become prudent managers of the wealth they inherit.

Overcoming the Fear and Reluctance of Discussing Finances

For many Jacksonville individuals and families, talking about money is full of emotional and psychological baggage.  Discussing finances and even estate plans or what you hope to happen when you pass away brings up fears of fostering dependency to confronting our own mortality. However, avoiding family  conversations about money and finances can lead to unprepared heirs. Thus it’s critical that parents and families at all wealth levels foster early and ongoing dialogue about how to appropriately manage money and wealth.

How Do You Host a Family Meeting about Estate and Wealth Planning?

Planning and executing family meetings require thoughtful preparation. Choosing a comfortable setting, outlining discussion topics in advance, and possibly involving an estate planning attorney can contribute to a productive dialogue. The presence of an attorney or other financial advisor can offer legal insight, ensuring the family understands complex concepts and legal implications.

Best Practices for Hosting Family Financial and Estate Planning Meetings

Preparing for the Meeting

The success of a family meeting hinges on careful preparation. This includes selecting an appropriate environment that fosters open discussion and preparing an agenda that covers all necessary topics while allowing room for questions and dialogue.

Leveraging a Jacksonville Estate Professional

Including an estate planning attorney in the meeting can provide clarity on legal matters and assist in navigating sensitive topics. They can also explain the roles and responsibilities involved in the estate plan, such as the duties of a successor trustee. An estate professional can also add an educational segment on financial topics to the meeting acting as a neutral, objective third party who can separate the topic of finances from the possible hidden family emotions or preconceived ideas. This approach ensures a structured discussion, emotional management, and equal voice for all attendees.

Building a Legacy of Financial Literacy and Philanthropy

Effective family meetings about wealth management enable parents to clarify their wealth distribution intentions but also foster a culture of financial literacy within their family.  Family meetings provide a space to pass on shared values about financial management, including introducing concepts of charitable giving and philanthropy.  The children and grandchildren will gain valuable knowledge in investing and estate planning from the parents, while also learning how to contribute meaningfully to their community.  Family meetings bring the family closer, allowing them to make collective decisions on charitable giving and further solidifying their bond.

Legacy Planning Law Group’s Approach to Family Meetings

At Legacy Planning Law Group, family meetings are encouraged, especially for clients enrolled in ongoing relationship programs. These meetings are coordinated and facilitated by the law firm, where we explain key components of the estate plan, such as the purpose and function of trusts, and address any questions from family members.


Family meetings for wealth planning serve as a vital tool for families navigating the complexities of wealth inheritance. By fostering open communication, financial education, and shared decision-making, these gatherings help prepare families for successful wealth stewardship across generations. Through thoughtful preparation, inclusive facilitation, and continuous engagement, families can strengthen their unity and ensure their legacy flourishes well into the future.  These family meetings are one of the most enjoyable parts of our work at Legacy Planning Law Group.  If you’re considering setting up a family meeting for your estate planning, but maybe you need some guidance on on how to proceed, schedule a free discovery call with our team.

Key Takeaways for Conducting Successful Family Meetings on Wealth Planning

Prepare. The host of the meeting should spend time with each participating family member to help them understand the reason for the meeting and learn more about their expectations. There should be a desire and commitment from the participants to invest time and effort to make family meetings a success.

Plan. Create a clear agenda that defines the purpose and goals of each meeting. Share this agenda with participants before the meeting. Select a neutral location that makes everyone comfortable and encourages participation.

Have time for learning. Include an educational component in the agenda, such as an introduction to investing, estate planning, budgeting and saving, or philanthropy.

Have a “parking lot.” Note any topics raised that might need to be addressed in a future meeting.

Use a facilitator. Use a trusted estate planning attorney to facilitate the meeting. This can help with managing the agenda, offering a different perspective, calming emotions and making certain that everyone is heard and understood.

Follow up. Include some to-do’s and schedule the next meeting to set expectations about continuing to bring the family together.

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