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In golf, you need patience and concentration to hit a ball 300 yards or more straight down the fairway. Similarly, when it comes to estate planning, you must look straight out into the future and utilize specific strategies in order to provide as much tax-advantaged wealth as possible for successive generations.

Good communication and timing are crucial in creating an optimal estate plan. Be sure to extend invitations for family meetings during non-hectic times to reduce any potential stress that can arise during conversations about money and inheritance, topics that have come to the forefront during the pandemic. The hard-but-necessary conversations you need to have with your parents and children about finances, final wishes and wealth transfer can make all the difference to a successful outcome with no surprises to pile on top of your family during a time of grief.

When it comes to your parents, be specific about your questions and concerns. For instance, you will want to know what their plans are for where their money and assets will go, what their desires are for burial, cremation and/or final services, and where all their important paperwork and files are located. Remind them that estate planning just means being prepared, and that getting things organized means you can “set it and forget it” as things return to normal in the world.

You need to have similar conversations with your children, letting them know what your final wishes are, but also asking for their input. Too often siblings harbor hard feelings about “who gets what” after a parent passes away, so ask them their desires before you finalize your will. Often one child has their heart set on your fishing gear while another has always wanted those paintings of your grandmother. Sentimental items can rankle children the most, and if everyone knows who gets what and it’s all spelled out while you are still around, you may retain the closeness of your family as one of your greatest legacies.

It’s all about progress not perfection—like your golf game. For more information about how to tee up a plan to fund your life’s passions, hobbies and long-term dreams, contact Faye Sykes,  CEO and Independent Wealth Advisor at 800.871.1219 or email

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This article originally appears in Golf Central Magazine : Volume 21, Issue 5, page 48 on 12/14/20. Golf Central Magazine is The Southeast’s Turf, Travel, Philanthropy, and Lifestyle Magazine. Check out their websiteFacebook, and Twitter.  Golf Central Can be contacted  at (321) 765-7550 or

This material has been prepared for informational purposes and is not intended as tax or accounting advice. Please consult tax or accounting professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.