Save Your Kids from Chaos and Trauma Through a Family Meeting

It’s an unfortunate, common tale that far too many of us have experienced firsthand.  A loved one passes away, and in the aftermath, family chaos ensues. Bickering. Drama. Hurt feelings. Broken relationships. Legal battles.

In his book Splitting Heirs, Ron Blue suggests a simple but often neglected tactic for saving our children from a world of hurt when we go to be with the Lord. The solution? A family meeting.

A family meeting will pave the way for healthy dialogue about your values, goals and estate plans. 

To be most effective, a family meeting may involve the help of a trusted advisor, attorney or family friend as a conversation facilitator. However, it may be as simple as sitting down with your adult children and/or grandchildren for an open, honest conversation. 

Through a family meeting, you can…

  • Teach, share and explain. “The family meeting gives your heirs a chance to hear from you – your heart, your wishes,” writes Blue. “It also gives them the permission and opportunity to ask questions.”
  • Share wisdom. Discuss important financial principles with your children and grandchildren, such as budgeting, investing, saving and charitable giving.
  • Unite family.  Model your desire for the family to communicate openly and to be united rather than divided in difficult times. 
  • Manage expectations. Help everyone get on the same page to eliminate a “coping gap” (the difference between expectations and reality) for your heirs when they receive more or less from your plan than what they had expected.  

Admittedly, for many, the idea of holding a family meeting is awkward at best – terrifying at worst. 

But as Blue explains, it’s a key aspect of any effective estate plan. He writes, “You will have a family conference. It’s just a matter of whether you will be alive to attend. … Who can better discuss our motivations, hopes, desires and blessings with your family: you, or your lawyer reading your will?”

Ready to plan your family meeting?

Click below to download a free resource to help you host your own family meeting: “A Guide for Your Family Meeting”

Does the Government Share Your Values?

Imagine for a moment taking all of your earthly possessions – your home, bank accounts, business, and personal collections – and placing them into a giant gift-wrapped box. 

“Here,” you say, as you turn everything over to your state’s officials. “Just do whatever you think is best.”

Sounds crazy, right? And yet this is the approach 60 percent of Americans are taking by not having an official will or trust in place. 

In the absence of a will or trust, the destination and ultimate use of your belongings will be determined by your state’s government when you go to be with the Lord. Maybe the government will direct your resources in the same manner as you would have chosen – but then again, probably not.  

When, however, you have a properly executed plan in place, you proactively ensure your God-given resources are used in a way that reflects your goals and values. 

A legal will can also help you…

  • Minimize family disputes.
  • Protect your spouse and heirs from unnecessary taxes and legal fees.
  • Establish guardianship for minor children.
  • Provide for children or loved ones with special needs.
  • Give in a profound way to the Christ Church Legacy Foundation.

Need Help With Your Will?

Join us on Sunday, September 22 at 12:30pm at the Fairview Heights Campus Student Lounge for our Estate Planning Seminars provided by the Christ Church Legacy Foundation. Lunch will be provided.

Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes with Your Will!

Your will is one of the most powerful documents you will ever have the opportunity to create! Through it, you can proactively care for your loved ones’ needs AND ensure your resources are used in a way that reflects your faith and values. 

A properly executed will can help you…

  • Minimize family disputes.
  • Protect your spouse and heirs from excessive taxes and legal fees.
  • Establish guardianship for minor children.
  • Provide for children or loved ones with special needs.
  • Give in a profound way to Christ Church and the other charities close to your heart.

Almost no other action you take will speak as powerfully to future generations about what matters most to you!

That said, there are three types of wills that will not help you achieve your personal or charitable goals…

1. The Non-Existent Will
Don’t assume you don’t need a will because you don’t have “enough” resources to warrant one, or because you’ve already vocalized your desires. A completed, legal will is the only way to ensure your wishes are met and your resources (home, business, vehicles, personal collections, finances, etc.) are quickly and smoothly passed to the people and causes you intended.

2. The Incomplete Will

Meeting with an advisor, discussing your plans with your loved ones and documenting your intentions are all important steps toward completing your will. But until you have a properly written and signed will that meets your state’s legal requirements, your plan is just a concept or piece of paper with no legal bearing. 

3. The Out-of-Date Will

Things change over time—and as your personal circumstances evolve, your will should, too. There are several key life transitions that warrant an update, such as children moving out of the house, retirement, marriages, births or adoptions, deaths, changes in financial situations and more.  

Does your will need to be drafted, finalized or updated? 

Call Alan Prass, Executive Director, at 618-277-4659 or email AlanPrass@mychristchurch.com for more information about the Christ Church Legacy Foundation.


Need Help With Your Will?

Join us on Tuesday, June 11 at 7:00pm or Sunday, September 22 at 12:30pm at the Fairview Heights Campus Student Lounge for our Estate Planning Seminars provided by the Christ Church Legacy Foundation.

Gathering 139 Sign Up

Gathering 139 is our process for Infant and Child Baptisms/Presentations for children birth to 6 years old. Gathering 139 is derived from Psalms 139, “I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

The Gathering 139 process starts with an online sign up form prior to the First Meeting (sessions are limited to 10 families). After you sign up your child, there is a mandatory information meeting that goes over Baptisms, Presentations, and the Gathering 139 process.

Would you like to baptize your infant or child?  Register your child here.

Questions? Contact Kimberly Venable at KimberlyVenable@mychristchurch.com


Gathering 139 2022 Dates


Summer Session

First Meeting – May 1st  at 4:30pm in Creation Clubhouse

Gathering Event – June 11th at 1pm in the Chapel

Baptism/Presentation Sunday – June 12th at 9:30am, 11am, and 6pm services at FH Campus

Register your child by April 25, 2022


Fall Session

First Meeting – August 28th at 4:30pm in Creation Clubhouse

Gathering Event – October 1st at 11am in the Chapel

Baptism/Presentation Sunday – October 2nd at 9:30am, 11am, and 6pm services at FH Campus