How to talk about money with every member of your family

Your children may not be smiling after the will is read. The Family Treasury (TM) will help you create an environment of harmony & knowledge before the pot boils over.

How to Talk with your kids about YOUR Money


This Family Day marks an opportune time to think about our adult children’s preparedness to inherit our wealth –whether a little or a lot.

In my role as CEO these past 30 years of First Affiliated Holdings Inc., a family office organization, I have seen firsthand how families are either empowered or completely destroyed over money issues. All too often, the time of destruction becomes obvious when the wealth creators die and the will is read.  Then the boiling pot bubbles over for us all to see. But, the family itself started to die long before that. Because, in my view, the mistake they made was separating their conversations. They had money conversations. And they had relationship conversations. …but seldom at the same time.

It seems we have a truly messed up relationship with money ourselves, and are afraid to let our kids see that we don’t know what we are doing!

However, I can offer you a model, a structure and environment if you will, so these conversations can happen naturally and smoothly. But it will require you to see your family in an entirely new way.

If you are willing to see your family as a business-like organization, you can create an environment where you can easily talk about money with every member of your family AND increase the chances that every member can thrive. Let me repeat that…. If you can see your family as a business-like organization, you can create an environment where you can easily have these money conversations AND where every family member can thrive. And by thrive, I mean, every member of your family can live the life they love, with the resources to support their choices. You don’t have to own an actual family business, just be willing to see yourselves as a business–like organization.  In my book,  True Family Wealth: Love, Money and an Inspired Life I call this environment The Family Treasury™. It is essentially what my book is about.

Your family is just like a business, and you are dealing with the same issues. Let’s unpack this further.  Regardless of the size of a business, if it is worth passing on to the next generation, that business will have some succession planning to do. That business, will not survive a transfer to the next generation of owners if it does not have a clear and great vision, a kick ass team of high esteem, and a strong balance sheet. Succession will fail without these three…. like a three-legged stool will tip over if one leg is missing.

Just like a business, to successfully transfer your legacy (financial or otherwise), to the next generation, you must have absolute clarity about the outcome you want before you begin those conversations.  A clear purpose, or vision for what your legacy should look like. What is the money for?

You also want to have a kick ass team of loving, supportive family members who buy into that vision and will support it. This is the hardest part of planning your legacy, and you might have some serious team building to do here. My book can help you do that by using tools that businesses use to do the very same thing.

Lastly, you need a strong balance sheet. No one wants to pass a legacy onto their kids which is unstable or disorganized. This is where a Family Office can help. A Family Office acts as the client family Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  It manages the process of managing wealth using integrated financial strategies based on the family’s goals and aspirations. It aims to optimize the wealth, lifestyle and legacy of its clients while simplifying complex matters.

The goal is a legacy that is successful, sustainable and empowering to the next generation. Wouldn’t everyone want that?

That is what The Family Treasury™ is all about. So… think like a business!

True Family Wealth-Love, Money & an Inspired Life is available on   If you would like to explore how my team and I at First Affiliated can assist your family in these matters, please call us at 705-445-7444, or contact us through our website at