By iA Private Wealth, October 11, 2023
When thinking about family gatherings, you might focus on special occasions like holiday meals, birthday parties and anniversary celebrations. These are all good reasons to bring generations together, but there’s another gathering that’s equally important: the family financial meeting.
Topics to discuss
You know best how your family dynamics tend to play out, so take them into consideration when deciding who should attend the meeting. It makes sense to include all the children, but whether their spouses/partners and children are invited is your decision based on best judgement. The frequency of financial meetings depends on the circumstances, but it’s often valuable to hold one whenever there’s a significant change, such as retirement, death in the family or a notable monetary event like a business sale or recent inheritance.
Below are seven topics commonly broached at family financial meetings – they might not all apply to your situation, and you may have others not listed here:
What makes a successful family meeting?
Emphasize that this isn’t a typical gathering, although a social component could be added once the formalities conclude. Try to strike a balanced tone: it’s a serious financial meeting with weighty or emotional topics, but it doesn’t need to be sombre. Investment Advisors, lawyers and accountants usually don’t attend, but they can be involved in meeting preparation, especially helping to explain technical terms or complex concepts you may need to address. Give people enough time to digest all the information. Since you might not resolve everything in one go, book a follow-up meeting if needed.
In-person conversations are ideal because it’s easier to “read the room” and communicate effectively, but if some people can’t attend, a virtual or hybrid meeting may work. You could hold the meeting at your home for familiarity’s sake, but anywhere that’s comfortable, reasonably free of distractions and conducive to open discussion will suffice. Create and distribute an agenda in advance so participants are aware of the subject matter and can prepare questions or comments.This article is a general discussion of certain issues intended as general information only and should not be relied upon as tax or legal advice. Please obtain independent professional advice, in the context of your particular circumstances. iA Private Wealth Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. iA Private Wealth is a trademark and business name under which iA Private Wealth Inc. operates.