We understand you may be a little uncomfortable discussing finances, potential health issues and medical care with your family. However, after working with millions of clients, we also know it's very important. If members of your family know how you want your finances and medical care handled in the future, they can help maintain your financial strategy, ensure your wishes are met and set adult children's expectations.
The more family members know about your preferences, the more comfortable they'll feel that they're making the right decisions for you down the road, if necessary.
It's up to you regarding whom you're comfortable discussing your strategies with, but you may want to think about sharing details on these topics.
Have you shared information about documents you've created and those you've named to manage your affairs if you're no longer able to do so? Don't assume your children or other family members know what you'd like them to do, whether that is serving as executor/personal representative, trustee or attorney in fact (in a power of attorney document). Give them the opportunity to mentally and emotionally prepare for these responsibilities, many of which could be time-consuming.
Do your loved ones know whom to contact if something were to happen to you? In times of emergency or grief, knowing where to turn for help with financial and legal matters can prove invaluable. A simple contact list can also be a great way to start a larger discussion with loved ones.
Have you discussed with your family and/or doctor how and where you'd like to receive medical care? Many people have very specific preferences when it comes to staying at home or at the type of facility where they may be the most comfortable. Make sure those who may need to make these decisions know what your wishes entail.
Have you already made funeral arrangements? Many times, these arrangements are made well in advance – which can be a good thing, as long as documents and plans aren't misplaced or forgotten. Make sure your family knows what you've already put into place or what specific wishes you may have.
Talking about topics like these can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. For more tips on how to communicate your wishes, watch our Family Financial Conversations video. Your local financial advisor can also help you set up time and outline a plan to bring your family together to have these important discussions.
Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.
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