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Incorporating family into financial planning

The topic of money and how it should be saved, spent and invested is often intensely personal. What money means to individuals many times represents an amalgamation of life experiences, outlook and your innate behavioural tendencies. As different people view financial decisions and subsequent planning needs in very different ways, it can be a topic that is avoided among family members so as to maintain privacy, or avoid tense and awkward conversations.

However, especially as we age, it can be important to involve family in aspects of your financial planning decisions, not only to look at the picture holistically and optimise accordingly, but also to facilitate financial education and ease the transition of decision making as and when something unexpected happens. Creating an open dialogue with family and involving them in the planning process can be key to whether or not your wishes are carried out. It might seem uncomfortable at first but finding ways to encourage communication about finances and wealth transfer wishes can ultimately bring families closer together and create a sense of purpose around the planning being considered.

Within a family unit, everyone tends to have deemed roles that develop over time. Perhaps one spouse becomes the primary investor and one spouse makes sure the household bills get paid. Maybe one spouse maintains the household calendar whilst the other spouse manages household projects. In these instances it is easy to just let the other person get on with it and not bother yourself with the details. However, there comes a time when we all may need to swap roles and therefore it is important to understand how each of you approach the task at hand and how you would handle it yourself if it was your primary responsibility. After all, we don’t always have the luxury of time to think about how any transition might occur.

It is also important to make sure that your immediate family members have a good understanding of where various family assets and accounts are held. Maintaining all important documents such as your Will, Trusts, passwords, contacts, financial statements, etc. in one central place will make transitions and any administrative activities smoother. It can be invaluable to introduce family to any trusted Advisers working with you as they will no doubt be able to provide useful guidance to family members when needed.

Many people find it easier to start dialogue more broadly and move into financial matters as you become more comfortable.  In the end, the most important thing to do is actually begin the conversation. You will not regret it.

For more wealth planning tips and tidbits from MASECO read our 39 Steps to Smart Living in the UK.

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Risk Warnings and Important Information
The value of investments can fall as well as rise.  You may not get back what you invest.
The above article does not take into account the specific goals or requirements of individual users. You should carefully consider the suitability of any strategies along with your financial situation prior to making any decisions on an appropriate strategy.

MASECO LLP trading as MASECO Private Wealth is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.  MASECO Private Wealth is not a tax specialist. We strongly recommend that every client seeks their own tax advice prior to acting on any of the strategies described in this document.


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