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Holidays are a Great Time for a Family Meeting

I bet most of your family holiday dinners are a lot like mine. Sometimes the family dynamics require a poker face and sometimes you feel like you just pick the winning horse at the Kentucky Derby. Either way, win or lose improve your odds by having a family meeting.

A family meeting is an event that gives you a winning hand by bringing family members together to check in on your financial state and create a vision of how they will collectively manage the financial assets and health needs to benefit you in the future. The focus of the family meeting is YOU and providing your family with the needed chips to play with the big elephant in the room. How are we, as a family, going to handle when Mom or Dad is not healthy? Who is going to handle the financial decisions and personal issues, make joint decisions, and plan for the future?” Family meetings also enable the members of your family to understand, before life’s events take their course, by having these important conversations with your family. Typically, family meetings include anyone who is, or will be, affected by the decisions made at the meeting. Ultimately, the goal of family meetings is to ensure health needs and wealth transitions are managed effectively on your behalf. In addition to loved ones, these meetings should include your financial advisor and your attorney when possible.

The strategic family meeting should include these important objectives.

  • The values or life lessons you would like to pass on to your family.

  • Your professional contacts that will benefit your family.

  • The legacy that you would like to leave to your beneficiaries.

  • Your health wishes and final requests at the end of life.

In a survey conducted by the US Trust, only 34% of parents agree that their children will be able to handle their inheritance and share their wishes, concerns and financial needs. Over 66% of parents do not disclose their finances or their wishes for when they get sick or an untimely death should occur because they do not feel it is necessary. As a financial advisor for many years, it is my hope that this number will change. I believe strongly in educating your family with your financial and health wishes. Now please hear me out. I am not saying to show them all the cards in your hand but I am saying you need to invite them to the table to let them know that your financial house is in good order and show them your face cards. The face cards are your doctor, pastor, financial advisor, attorney, insurance agent, power of attorney and executor. These are required for your family to have a winning hand in your financial future. I have heard in conversations with clients over the years the following comment. “I do not have my financial house in order and I am just not ready to work on it or talk about it!” WHO IS? But one thing I can guarantee you is that one day you’re going to die and making the best holiday dinner or buying the perfect Christmas gift is no excuse for not planning. We all know that communication is the key! I know it is difficult to talk about your final days and life after your gone but having meetings with your key loved ones is the perfect present that will be appreciated and cherished by the entire family during one of the hardest times of their life.

Lastly, our goal at Dowdy Financial Group is to focus on our client’s families because we have experienced firsthand how life can be a gamble and our game plan is to make sure that we help with every event that life brings your way. I hope this information was helpful for you to get the conversation started and if you do not have a Family Financial Advisor please give our team a call at 931-919-0947.

Enjoy your holidays and cherish this family time by giving them what is most important, YOU. (Not, your delicious pumpkin pie or Eggnog!)

Happy Holidays!

LaDonna Dowdy

President-Dowdy Financial Group

1202 Madison Street, Clarksville TN 37040


Securities Offered Through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC

Investment Advisory Services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.

Dowdy Financial Group is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.

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