In the first 10 minutes of a meeting,your client says:

I’m in shock. My son is visiting us this week, and guess what? He’s getting married next year!

At that moment

  • Congratulate your client and ask if the son and his partner have set a date. Ask if they have family traditions and what the celebration might be like.
  • Gently find out why your client is shocked—did he think his son would never marry? Does your client dislike the partner?

Later in the meeting

  • Ask your client if the pair have discussed their financial priorities and how they will blend their finances. Offer to give them a consultation.
  • If your client is interested in gifting the son money or paying for part of the wedding, help evaluate his options.
  • Discuss whether he wants the son’s spouse to have access to the gift and to what extent.

Before your next meeting

  • If the couple agrees to talk to you, send questions in advance of your chat. They should list their financial goals and deal-breakers, discuss how they plan to blend their finances, their spending styles, their views on “fun money,” et cetera.

If you’re going to be a guest at the wedding, we’ve got you covered! Go here for expert tips on what to do, what to gift and what to wear.

At your next meeting

  • Review the gift alternatives you’ve researched with your client, including any possible tax implications of making a withdrawal now versus next year, and the family law implications of gifting before versus after the marriage (read this article for more).
  • Help your client consider the financial aspects of future life events for his son, such as cash gifts for potential grandchildren (and/or step-grandchildren).

by Gil Martinez, art director of Advisor Group