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Ideas on how to have a financial planning meeting with your family

Mar 11, 2024, 6:02:16 PM | Reading Time: 6 minutes

Talking about financial planning can be tough, but meeting with your spouse, children, or grandchildren to discuss financial decisions can better prepare your family for the future. Here are some suggestions you could do to help set up a meeting to talk about financial issues and planning with your family.

Set up the meeting

Decide who should be involved

For the initial meeting, you may want to keep the discussion small. Who you invite depends on the sensitivity of the topic, family structure, and distance. You can always expand your group in subsequent meetings. If you aren’t sure who to involve, consider asking for input from your financial professional.

Identify the main topic

Don’t try to cover every financial topic at once. Instead, you can focus on one issue at a time. Sticking to one topic can help keep the conversation focused, and help prevent family members from feeling overwhelmed.

Write down what you hope to accomplish

When you have money discussions with your family, a goal may be to make some kind of agreement on a particular topic. Achieving this could take several meetings, so it’s important to be patient.

Create an agenda

After you’ve identified the main topics you wish to cover, you may want to create an agenda to keep you on track.

Schedule the meeting

Timing your meeting is important. You may want to avoid having money conversations during big events, such as holidays, as they can be stressful. Instead, you could choose a moment when everyone is in a good place in their lives. Pick a date that works for all your desired attendees and a neutral, comfortable location.

Consider spending time with your family ahead of time

To help ease tensions before the meeting, you may want to plan a dinner to help "break the ice".

Talk to your financial professional

Before the meeting, you may want to get some advice from a financial professional and discuss the family meeting goals.

During the meeting

When you meet with your family, it can be important to lead the conversation in an open, honest, and focused way. Talking about finances can feel strange, so it’s vital to do it in a way that’s pleasant and agreeable for all involved.
  • You could celebrate your family mission, vision, values, and opportunities when discussing finances. Making decisions about the future together is a good thing!
  • You may want to keep the first conversation simple and focused, and ease into the discussion.
  • You also may want to assume you’ll have multiple conversations. You shouldn’t expect that everyone will be in agreement or that you have a full-proof plan after one meeting.

Manage emotions

Talking about money, especially when the conversation is focused on estate planning or end-of-life decisions, can stir up a lot of emotion in people. Here are some suggestions to help keep emotions manageable during your family finance discussions:
  • Help your loved ones emotionally invest in the plan to ensure they’re good stewards of your wealth, charitable giving desires, and legacy plans
  • Avoid judgment. If a family member has an opinion you disagree with, you shouldn’t dismiss that person or belittle his or her ideas.
  • Make a point to listen to what everyone has to say.
  • Conclude the meeting early, if necessary. You don’t need to cover everything in the first meeting. It’s ok to hit the pause button if you get stuck.

After the meeting

When your family meeting ends, it’s important to help ensure the discussion continues and your loved ones stay informed. Here are some ideas you could do after your meeting:
  • Document what went well in the meeting and what didn’t.
  • Ask your family members for input about the meeting.
  • Decide what follow-up information you may need to provide your family.
  • Decide when the next meeting will be at what topic will be discussed.
  • Determine what needs to be communicated in the next few follow-up meetings.
  • Determine the frequency, attendees, and their roles for future meetings.

Get assistance from a financial professional

A financial professional can be a great, objective source of knowledge for you and your family members and will help you realize your goal to have a successful financial meeting. You may also want to introduce family members to your financial professional to help create an enhanced level of trust, better communication, and a greater understanding of your plans.

Midland National offers a Legacy Portrait guide to help you navigate tough financial conversations in a safe space. You’ll find helpful tips, samples, and templates to assist you in planning.



The term financial professional is not intended to imply engagement in an advisory business in which compensation is not related to sales. Financial professionals that are insurance licensed will be paid a commission on the sale of an insurance product.


REV 3/2023


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