Family Discussions during your Family Christmas Time

This month’s article is a retake on some questions I raised this time last year. If you used them at last year’s Christmas festivities, chances are you haven’t been invited back this year! But, I think they are important, so here we go again, although a little light-heartedly. Hopefully, you can have a giggle, but also see the importance of raising the issues.

Here is a list of questions to table at Christmas Dinner, or at least over a coffee and a piece of Christmas cake (or a beer and nuts). These are guaranteed to get the conversation flowing (not). Cut this article out and laminate it for placemats:

To your brother/sister:

  1. Have you got an up to date Will in place?
  2. Who will look after your kids if you die?

If it is you who gets the kids …also ask

  1. Will there be enough money or should you top it up with Insurance?

To your adult children

Repeat questions 1 – 3 above except also ask

  1. How can we do that caravan trip around Australia in retirement if we also have your kids (that’s your grandkids) and you are underinsured?

If that stopped the conversation try:

To Grandma

  1. If you were on life support, what would you want to happen to you medically?
  2. Who would make those medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated?
  3. What about financially, who will organise to pay the bills until you get better?
  4. Will there be enough money or should you top it up with insurance?

If that goes well, try the same questions 1-4 to your brother/sister, parents, spouse, next door neighbour, dog!

On a roll….. now go to the group loitering around the esky and ask…

the brother-in-law who has his own business

  1. Do you have any key employees at your business?
  2. If you, or the key employee, weren’t able to work for six months, would that cripple your business financially?
  3. Did you know you can insure against that?

Unfortunately, our lives are often touched with tragedy and often the outcomes are made worse due to a lack of planning. Christmas is traditionally a happy time to catch up with family and good friends, so talking about death and tragedy is a bit off-side. But, if you don’t take the opportunity to discuss it now, when everyone is together, time can quickly move on and the opportunity lost.

In our financial planning business, we help clients with these matters every day. Wills, Power of Attorney, Living Wills (Advanced Directives) and Personal Insurance are important discussion points on our review checklists. Our job is more than just tax and superannuation.


If you would like to meet with us and allow us to help you sort out your personal affairs, we have referral partners that we regularly work with to help you get “your ducks in a row”. Call us and make an appointment to turn over a new leaf in the new year and get these important issues addressed and have peace of mind.


Finally, the team at Potts Schnelle would like to wish you all a very happy and joy-filled Christmas and thank you for supporting our business over the past year.