What financial advice do our clientele of affluent individuals least want to hear? Estate planning and the importance of communicating the plan to their children.


We are creatures of comfort. We resist most, if not all things, that are uncomfortable. Estate planning is uncomfortable. Confronting the reality of our mortality and finality surrounding the idea of estate planning—it is uncomfortable. Clients enjoy discussing tax saving strategies, investment strategies, retirement income projections and planning, even insurance discussions. Estate planning is easily the area of the planning process that sees the most resistance.  And that resistance comes in the form of delay—avoidance. It is not just the uncomfortable nature of staring our demise in the face, but also simply the unknown of the process. What are estate documents? A trust—what is that? Do I need one? Asset titling, beneficiary designations, SLATs, GRATs, powers of appointment…yikes!

On the Dobyns Wealth Team, at Southwestern Investment Group, we confront this resistance head on.

1. First, we clearly state that part of what clients hire us for is to add urgency to what is important.

We all know estate planning is important, but as described, it is often put on the back burner because it is uncomfortable and is not perceived as urgent.

2. Second, we use cold hard facts. Estate conversations are not an “if”, but a “when”.

They can be had around a coffee table where clients get to control the narrative, or by your family around a coffin—which do you prefer?

3. And finally, we take as much pain out of the process as possible.

We encourage and remove fear—we have been here before and will walk with you hand in hand from educating you on the process, to designing your estate plan to align with your wishes and desires, to working with an estate attorney to have documents drafted and reviewed, and finally to execution of the documents by signing with a notary and witnesses.


The final step to the estate planning process is, when appropriate, communicating the estate plan to your kids. Again, uncomfortable. However, to the degree there is wealth, withholding communication about estate plans can be tantamount to withholding affection. This does not mean we always encourage sharing numbers and values.  But at minimum, as clients’ children age into adulthood, we have found that communicating the form and basics of the estate design can be valuable. This provides a platform for clients to bring the next generation into the fold and explain their thought process and “why” behind design, and in conjunction share their values and money story for how the wealth was created. Again, we remove as much pain from this process as possible by facilitating these family meetings and being a bridge of communication between our clients (first generation) and children (second generation).


The Dobyns Wealth Team can help you build the estate plan to help meet your financial goals. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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