Five reasons to hold a family meeting now

You can speak to an advisor for more information

888-211-3868
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.

Unfortunately, many families see their wealth fade because they haven’t discussed or prepared for a transition.1 In the U.S., 70% of inheritances disappear by the second generation, and 90% are gone by the third.


 
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 ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Key benefits of a family meeting

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Clarity
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.
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Security
A meeting can provide confidence and reassurance with the family if you pass away before the plan is fully in place.
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Reason
Family members can discuss and understand the logic behind the monetary decisions, fostering collaboration instead of conflict.
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Peace of mind
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 888-211-3868 to schedule a family meeting.
Margaret Bauer

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 old
Participant since 1986

This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or investment advice in connection with a distribution, transfer or rollover, a purchase or sale of securities or other investment property, or the management of securities or other investments, including the development of an investment strategy or retention of an investment manager or advisor. 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 in consultation with an investor’s personal advisor based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.
 

1 Roy Williams and Vic Preisser, Preparing Heirs: Five Steps to a Successful Transition of Family Wealth and Values (Robert D. Reed Publishers 2013).

2 Estate Planning FAQs, American Bar Association, 3/2015.

3 U.S. Trust, 2015 survey of individuals with at least $3 million in investable assets.
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