Five reasons to hold a family meeting now

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Starting a conversation with your loved ones about your financial plans and goals might not be easy, but it may help ensure your family's financial health.

Here are five reasons to get your family together now for a meeting:

1. Talking now can prevent family rifts

A solid estate plan goes beyond a written will or other estate planning documents—it should also involve face-to-face communication. Lack of communication between family members can disrupt even the best-laid plans and could harm your family's financial future—or worse, family relationships. A family meeting allows you to communicate your wishes for how your assets will be distributed after you're gone. The better your loved ones understand your goals and desires, the more likely it is for the family's intentions and estate to benefit future generations.

2. Let your family know where to turn for help

Your loved ones need to know there are people who can help them with the process and intricacies of managing an estate. You can ensure everyone has the contact information for your financial advisor, attorney, accountant and any other professional you consult as a trusted team member. After you're gone, your loved ones will find it extremely helpful to be familiar and know how to coordinate with this team. Family members should also learn the location of— and know how to access—important documents, along with keys to safety deposit boxes or other storage facilities.

3. Make sure loved ones know how to implement the plan

Even if your family has a solid estate plan, your heirs may need help navigating its implementation. At a meeting, you can ensure that your family will have the proper understanding and support in handling these tasks when you are gone. This is the time to designate an executor of the estate, who may or may not be a family member. If this person is also a healthcare proxy, make sure he or she knows what to do if you become ill or incapacitated.

4. Ensure your goals and values are understood

A meeting can ensure that your family not only understands your wishes, but also knows precisely how they should be honored. For example, you might want to make sure a vacation home remains in the family, or specify who will receive certain treasured possessions. Managing these assets can be complicated; however, a meeting will help everyone, including you, feel more confident that your plans will be carried out successfully.

5. Discuss charitable giving intentions

Helping others is important in the lives of many families. A family meeting allows everyone to learn which causes are closest to your heart, as well as why and how specifically identified assets will be donated after you're gone. In some cases, charitable gifting strategies can help enhance your current estate plan. Your TIAA advisor can help arrange and provide assistance for a family meeting to provide confidence for you and your loved ones.

Key benefits of a family meeting


You can communicate crucial estate planning details, such as where to locate important documents, whom to call for specific advice and how to fulfill your wishes.


A meeting can provide confidence and reassurance with the family if you pass away before the plan is fully in place.


Family members can discuss and understand the logic behind the monetary decisions, fostering collaboration instead of conflict.


You and your loved ones can feel a sense of relief in knowing you have a plan to protect the family's financial future.

Now may be the time to start

Clear communication with family members can help ensure your wealth
benefits the next generation in the way you intended.

You can call your TIAA advisor or 844-567-9077 to schedule a family meeting.

Talking to your kids about money and the future

"When my grandmother died, my grandfather divided her jewelry into three boxes. One daughter-in-law got all the expensive stuff, the other two got costume jewelry. I'd want to avoid that at all costs."


Margaret Bauer | Non-profit Executive Director | 65 years oldParticipant since 1986


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This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute fiduciary investment advice under ERISA, a securities recommendation under all securities laws, or an insurance product recommendation under state insurance laws or regulations. This material does not take into account any specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.

Advisory services are provided by Advice & Planning Services, a division of TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser.