Do You Need a Family Financial Summit?

A Family Financial Summit might be a new concept for many of you, so let’s start by defining it before delving into whether or not you need or want one. Essentially, it’s a family meeting that allows for the sharing of financial values and goals.

It can be helpful in aligning expectations about inheritance, responsibilities, and the legacy the family wishes to build. By discussing these topics in advance, families can ensure that everyone is informed, prepared, and understands the strategies and plans in place.

Few families have these types of meetings, and if they do, the conversations can be complex and emotional. As your financial advisor, we can help make your meeting a productive experience that benefits everyone involved. Information can be shared with the right structure and neutrality, leading to clarity and understanding.

A wide range of topics can be addressed. The following list can help us create the agenda that best suits your financial situation: 

  • Inheritance and Wealth Distribution: Discuss how assets will be distributed, including conditions or guiding philosophies behind these decisions, to manage expectations and ensure fairness.
  • Financial Responsibilities: Outline what financial contributions or support are expected within the family, whether for elder care, education expenses, or business ventures, to foster a sense of shared responsibility.
  • Estate Planning Details: Discuss the essentials of wills, trusts, and the overall estate plan structure to ensure everyone understands their role and the procedural aspects, ensuring a smooth transition when the time comes.
  • Family Legacy and Philanthropy: Articulate the family’s vision for its legacy, including philanthropic pursuits or values to be upheld, to instill a sense of purpose and continuity.
  • Investment Strategies and Management: Explain the family’s investment approach, including risk tolerance, asset allocation, and long-term goals, to align financial strategies with family objectives.
  • Education Funding Strategies: Address plans for funding education for younger family members, including savings plans like 529s, scholarships, and grants, to prioritize educational aspirations.
  • Budgeting and Living Within Means: Stress the importance of creating and adhering to a budget, highlighting how living within or below one’s means is crucial for long-term financial stability.
  • Insurance Planning: Review insurance needs, including life, health, and property insurance, to protect against potential financial losses and provide peace of mind.
  • Tax Planning and Efficiency: Explore strategies for minimizing tax liabilities through charitable giving, investment choices, and other tax-efficient planning techniques.
  • Succession Planning for Family Businesses: If applicable, discuss the future of any family-owned businesses, including leadership transitions and maintaining the business’s legacy.
  • Financial Education for Younger Generations: Emphasize the importance of financial literacy, discussing ways to educate younger family members about money management, investing, and saving.

Preparation is key to a successful discussion. This involves setting clear objectives to guide the conversation, choosing the right location, and drafting an agenda in collaboration with us. This groundwork helps in creating an environment that’s suited for an open and productive dialogue.

Is this concept for you? That’s for you to decide, but we’re happy to help. For many, the benefits of these conversations bring peace of mind. They invest in your family’s financial health and harmony, ensuring that wealth is a tool for unity rather than a source of division.

And one more FYI…as Registered Investment Advisers, we must file updated disclosure documents and notify clients of material changes. There have been no material changes since last year’s annual update. Please see for our current information, including our firm’s current Privacy Policy, which describes how we safeguard your personal information.