Posts Tagged ‘informal meeting’
Tell a parent or friend you care, you are here to help, and want to be a part of an ongoing dialogue about their changing needs. Acknowledge past help they’ve given you and express a desire to return the favor. Find a way to frame the issue that is positive, focused on strengths rather than deficits, prevention rather than accusations of decline.
Ask for professional help from doctors, lawyers or financial professionals who work closely with your parent. Reach out to your parent’s network. Identify people they trust who are willing to meet with your family to help introduce topics appropriate to the skills of that particular professional. A trust attorney, for example, can meet to explain how the estate plan works, and who will provide what type of support if the need arose. Some professionals talk with clients about issue spotting, transitions in needs, connecting with community resources and many other important points on a regular basis. Others are uncomfortable with these topics, so scout out resources with a brief phone call ahead of time.
A family meeting can improve our ability to navigate changed circumstances. Common changes that impact families in estate planning are the aging process, health issues, or death of a family member. Information may need to be provided, or decisions made. These are emotional times. It is important to realize that there are legal implications at play as well as everyone’s personal feelings. There are two types of family meetings. The first type is an informal meeting held at the home of a family member, and run by the person who is most comfortable taking on the role. The second type is more formal, and is run by a professional. The second type is best if the family has difficulty identifying or agreeing to a point person to lead the meeting, or if there are specific questions that everyone would like to have answered that are technical in nature and best answered by a professional. Sometimes a combination of meetings over time works best, as circumstances continue to evolve, and questions are raised at an informal family meeting.