An Overview of the Family Meeting as Part of a California Estate Plan

Despite careful planning and attention to detail, a client’s Orange County estate plan might not necessarily be administered without conflict. The primary reason for this is that the creator of the estate plan is no longer around to explain his decisions or outline his goals by the time the plan is being administered. Some family members may not even be aware that estate documents exist until after the loss of the loved one. Fortunately, a family meeting can go a long way in reducing the likelihood of conflict following the estate owner’s passing. A knowledgeable Orange County trust lawyer can help you decide whether this strategy is right for your family as you work to create your estate plan.

What is a “family meeting,” as it pertains to estate planning? The following is an overview:

  • A family meeting generally involves the primary beneficiaries of the plan, the named fiduciaries, and the professional advisors who will assist with the administration of the plan.
  • A family meeting goes beyond merely asking your executor, trustee, guardian, or other fiduciary to serve in a specific role. It specifically addresses the goals and wishes of the creator of the plan.
  • A family meeting gives your loved ones an opportunity to meet and build a relationship with the individuals whom you have appointed as trustee, executor, or guardian in your estate plan.
  • A family meeting gives the beneficiaries an opportunity to meet the legal, tax, or financial professionals who may assist in the administration of the plan.
  • A family meeting can be conducted in the office of your professional advisor or in your own home—whichever is best suited for your family.

A family meeting may not be appropriate in every situation. When used in the right scenario, however, it can be a valuable tool towards creating an effective, easily administered estate plan. The knowledgeable Orange County trust attorneys at the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, can provide more information about creating your plan and whether a family meeting is right for you. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation. 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm