All families clearly stand to benefit from having an open and ongoing dialog that includes providing specifics about the estate such as where documents are and who will serve as executor of the estate. These talks can also potentially aid with tax planning, protecting privacy and ensuring liquidity and the ability to pay bills all at one of the most difficult times families face.


“It is important for families to begin conversations about finances before there is a need to have the conversation,” according to Ruth. “Delaying conversations until a life event forces the subject means making decisions during a time of crisis that are often driven by emotion — by this time, options are fewer and time is tight — having conversations and a plan of action well before one must make a financial decision allows family members to take more time anticipate, plan and make informed decisions, rather than decisions driven by emotion.”