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Here we are in mid-October with Thanksgiving and the December Holiday season right around the corner. Time moves fast! But, these holidays offer us an opportunity as our families come together during the holiday season for family meetings! But, for planning purposes, the time to set these meetings up is now. Letting family members know now sets your plan in action and gives your family some time to think about the concept.

Block out some time on the calendar for your first family meeting during your holiday gatherings. Meeting over the holidays which is a period of reflection for most of us sets the stage for families to discuss their values and how they want to pass those values down to future generations.

This first meeting may just start with some broad-based questions such as:

• What does our family stand for?
• What are our family values?
• How does each family member feel about money?
• How should money be used?

This first meeting can answer these questions and provide the opportunity to assign a family member to draft an initial family value and mission statement for the next meeting. And over subsequent family meetings this statement can be refined and then a discussion of how family resources can be used to reinforce these values and how the resources are aligned to accomplish the family’s goals may be appropriate.

Do not let another holiday season go by and miss this opportunity when you gather with your loved ones. Looking for assistance? My contact information is listed below.
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Peter B. Smith is a Family Wealth Advisor at the Planning Solutions Group in Fulton, MD ( and is an Annapolis resident. He can be reached at 301-543-6008 or by email at