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How grandparents can help improve their family's financial health

According to a recent study, 67 percent of people surveyed that were over 50 years old wanted to invest in their children and grandchildren. This study also found that these people were frustrated with their children’s lack of financial planning.

The problem lies in the fact that not all beneficiaries or trustees know how to manage wealth or inheritance. Many young people have enormous amounts of debt and estate planning is the last thing on their minds.

How do you help your family get their affairs in order?

Sometimes the birth of a child or the death of a loved one is enough motivation for someone to organize their affairs. Other times, they need a more measured approach.

It is important to start the discussion off on the right foot. As a relative, your family dynamic could put a strain on financial discussions. If you wish to bring up the topic of financial affairs, you will need to time it carefully and choose your words carefully.

  • Avoid surprising them. Forcing them to discuss the topic probably will not work. It could lead them to shut down and resent the process more than when you started. Instead, set ground rules and expectations for the discussion ahead of time. Allow them to prepare.
  • Understand boundaries and limitations: If you set up a family meeting with an estate planner, some information is confidential or sensitive. No matter who pays for the session, the documents belong to the person who owns the estate.
  • Make financial planning a regular part of your life: If discussions about money are difficult, bring them into everyday situations to ease later discussions. Share articles about interesting new tax laws. Mention your financial advisor by name over coffee. Give them the opportunity to ask questions.

Everyone’s financial health is different. If you would like to make a positive impact on someone’s finances, you will need to build that relationship and that trust over time.

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