3 Tips for Navigating Difficult Financial Discussions with Your Family

We can’t control the future. But we can have some control over the present. By talking with your family about the current state of your finances, your future plans, and your wishes for your estate after you’re gone, you’ll help everyone put their best foot forward and prepare for whatever is to come.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind in approaching these conversations.

1. The time is now. Start where you are.

There’s never the ideal time to have this sort of conversation. We’d advise you that the most ideal time is now.

Procrastinating on these plans is common and understandable. You may be confused about how to start the process. You may not want to make the time for it. You may feel you don’t have enough assets to necessitate a will.

But keeping your head in the sand—or keeping your loved ones in the dark—only prolongs decisions that will have to be made eventually. The sooner you start, the more prominent a role you can have in decision-making and follow-through.

Regardless of your age, income level, or net worth, it’s a good time to start planning based on wherever you are now and wherever you want to go. It’s never too early to start—and if you worry it’s too late, getting started now will help ease that anxiety.

2. Keep your focus positive and proactive.

There’s no denying that these topics can sometimes be stressful and emotional. They’re complex—which is precisely why having these conversations sooner rather than later can be so helpful. If you frame these discussions as acts of love and protection, they may be easier to process.

Talking with your significant other about the current state of your finances and your future goals helps build trust and reduce tension. Honest communication is key, from the fun planning to the tough what-ifs.

Thinking toward the future, talking with your loved ones is an important step in estate planning—preferably an early one. It’s a way to help ensure your family’s financial future while you’re still able to be a part of that planning. You can help everyone feel well prepared and in the know by:

  • creating a will and keeping it updated
  • making your executor(s) aware of their role and answering any questions
  • naming beneficiaries on life insurances, annuities, and retirement accounts
  • letting your loved ones know where important documents are stored
  • documenting and sharing a plan for digital asset management

You may find it helpful to make an estate planning checklist to keep things organized and approachable.

Taking these steps and being transparent about them helps ensure that everyone is on the same page your wishes will be met, and your loved ones will be provided for. You’re investing in your collective peace of mind.

Remember: By planning now, you’re helping to avoid hardships—and hard decisions—later on.

3. Turn to the experts.

You’re not in this alone. We recognize that financial planning, estate planning, and the various steps along this path can feel intimidating—but they’re our specialties. We’re here to help inform and guide your conversations.

Your Fingerlakes Wealth Management financial advisor will help you create a roadmap to get you from where you are today to where you want to be. Together, we’ll tailor plans to your specific situation, set those plans into motion, and refine them over time.

Often, the hardest step is getting started. Let us help you take that step and all the ones that follow.

Contact us today!

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