News & Insights

Why You Need to Pre-Plan


By Aaron S. Nuti, CFA, CFP®, CAIA

Upon the passing of a loved one most people tend to be F.I.N.E. By Aerosmith’s definition this means Fouled Up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional, so any steps you take ahead of time can help with what is already an emotional and stressful situation. When people hear pre-planning, they think about making and paying for funeral arrangements prior to death, but that is only a small part of what pre-planning entails. While making arrangements ahead of time is important, there are other issues that should be addressed as part of pre-planning as well. Here are several things to consider as part of your pre-planning process outside of funeral arrangements.

Start Earlier Than You Think
Seventy years of age is recommended for starting the pre-planning process, if not earlier. Seventies are considered the last lucid decade and it makes sense to start the process while there is clarity and health. Once people are in their advanced years and a health crisis occurs, it tends to become all-encompassing and time consuming. There tends to be little time for anything else after the health crisis, so be sure you are addressing items earlier than you may think.

Don’t Assume
If you’ve ever witnessed a family fighting over money after the death of a loved one, this may be one of the reasons why. Many people assume that their heirs know what their wishes are, but never communicate those wishes while they are alive. If you don’t share your wishes, then the next generation will make their own assumptions and each member of the next gen may have different assumptions. Be sure to share your wishes, so there is clarity amongst your heirs.

Have a Family Meeting
Many people think that family meetings have to include conversations about money, but that is not true. In many instances the older generation does not want to share specifics, as they don’t know if that much will be left; however, the next generation doesn’t approach it in the correct way either by asking what they have, which causes the misunderstanding. The next generation wants to know if their parents are going to be okay. So, one of the main goals of the family meeting should be letting them know that you are going to be okay. Also, it should be an opportunity to tell the next generation who they should go to when the transfer of wealth occurs and where information is located. The goal of the family meeting simply needs to be to provide clarity, improve communication, and reduce stress across the generations. Something as simple as knowing that there is a documented list of the valuables and where to go to get it at the time of transfer is all it takes.

Our team at Fairport Wealth has experience in working with families, across generations, setting and attending family meetings, and helping families take care of what is most important to them. If you’d like to further discuss these and other pre-planning steps that may help your family live the life they envision, please reach out to the Fairport Wealth team at 216-431-3000.


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This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors.

All data and information reference herein are from sources believed to be reliable. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this research is provided as general market commentary, it does not constitute investment advice. The team and Hightower shall not in any way be liable for claims, and make no expressed or implied representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the data and other information, or for statements or errors contained in or omissions from the obtained data and information referenced herein. The data and information are provided as of the date referenced. Such data and information are subject to change without notice.

This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the team and do not represent those of Hightower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.