Silence is not always golden. Certain conversations between generations often are avoided because of the possible tension created by topics many consider inappropriate or difficult. It is in these situations that an open and honest dialogue is especially important.
For example, it is difficult to ask your own parents how they have set up their will or how much they are going to leave you so you can do the appropriate financial planning.
Though the discussion may seem objectionable at the time, it is still important to talk about these decisions for the future.
As financial advisors, we can help generate these conversations within a family by explaining to senior clients how important it is to initiate the discussions with their children. Encouraging a client to talk with his offspring enables him to clearly communicate why specific financial decisions were made, as well as his vision for their financial legacy.
A family meeting can foster dialogue and create clarity between the generations about things that they’ve always wanted to ask, but felt it would be inappropriate or unsettling. When the older generation creates a welcoming environment and opens the conversation by inviting people to ask questions, all of a sudden, positive, uplifting family moments can take place.