Family is congregated in the cozy kitchen, plates are filled with everyone’s favorite recipes, and spirits are bright and joyful. There’s laughter, the clink of cutlery, and a babble of contented conversation, as family members who have not seen each other for months catch up on all of life’s happenings.
The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with your loved ones and share in meaningful moments that will last a lifetime in your memories. But as you gather around the dinner table or cluster around the Christmas tree, consider taking advantage of your time with family to discuss more serious matters, particularly your financial planning.
Discussing your legacy plans may not seem like an ideal holiday discussion, but with your family gathered around you and a spirit of togetherness in the air, the holiday season may actually be the perfect time to address your end-of-life wishes and estate plans.
Hesitation is understandable. Such topics can inspire negative emotions in some people, and it may be uncomfortable to discuss your legacy plans. However, having the conversation now can be an incredible act of love and potentially one of the best gifts you could ever give your family this holiday season. This is because finances and what happens to them have been known to drive a wedge between even the most connected families, especially following the death of a loved one when nerves are already frayed and emotions are running high.
Finances can cause arguments, misunderstandings, and contention, but it’s possible to mitigate those issues and perhaps even avoid them altogether.
Communicating your plans and desires now will help to eliminate any ambiguity or confusion, and it will help ensure that your family members are on the same page. Ultimately, this will create a sense of unity. Your willingness to have a conversation about your finances will provide you with an opportunity to share why values such as charitable giving, stewardship, and generosity are so important to you.
Your children and/or grandchildren can learn from your example. When you believe that your finances are simply resources, given to you by God to steward, the tangible blessings and peace of that mindset will overflow and teach younger generations. Additionally, your honesty and clarity may even inspire other members of your family to incorporate charitable giving into their own finances and future legacy plans. When you share about the causes you care about and why you desire to support certain ministries, churches, or nonprofits, you may encourage your loved ones to consider how they can also partner with organizations close to their own hearts.
By discussing your legacy plans, you may be helping to cement a heritage of generosity and faith that will outlive even you. A biblically based view of finances has the power to transform the way families interact with their money, the ways that they save and give, and ultimately their lives as a whole. Initiating this conversation may be the catalyst that ignites a shift in family dynamics and inspires your loved ones to join you in a commitment to stewardship and charity.
Don’t be deterred or intimidated by the significance of a conversation about legacy plans. Instead, view it as an act of love this holiday season, and perhaps one of the most thoughtful gifts you could give to the ones you love the most.
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