Grieving Widow Gains More than Knowledge
Judy suddenly and unexpectedly lost her husband of many years. She was left with $3 million in investable assets and a total net worth of $5 million. Judy’s husband had always had the primary relationship with their financial advisor, Dean, and often attended meetings without Judy. She had little knowledge of her and her husband’s investments or other details of their financial plans.
While dealing with the grief of losing her husband, Judy was overwhelmed by the acronyms and terms Dean tossed around. She was shocked by all the requests for information as she tried to get her husband’s financial affairs in order. From insurance and IRAs to bank accounts and benefits, it felt as though everyone needed some obscure document. Judy was also worried about running out of money because, although she understood her cash-flow needs, she wasn’t sure how or if her portfolio would support it.
Feeling besieged and misunderstood, Judy fired Dean and looked for an advisor who would empathize with what she was going through, asking a close friend if she knew an advisor who could help her. Judy was delighted when one of the advisors she met with, Matt, spent the entire first meeting just asking questions and listening to her concerns. She felt heard, more comfortable, more knowledgeable and more in control.
After the initial meeting, Matt coordinated all of Judy’s other advisors in an effort to simplify and facilitate as many of the transition requirements as possible. He created a one-page summary of all the necessary transitions of financial assets and accounts, including columns for accounts, transition required, person responsible for completing it, due date and status. Matt also obtained letters of authorization where possible so that he could request information and paperwork on Judy’s behalf.
After hearing about Judy’s cash-flow concerns, Matt reduced the lengthy distribution plan used for most clients to a one-page summary illustrating what Judy could safely withdraw from her portfolio without invading principal. Judy was relieved when she learned she would be comfortable and able to continue to enjoy the lifestyle she and her husband had built during their marriage.
Judy was extremely grateful to Matt and his firm for the great work he and his team did for her during such a difficult time. She appreciated the customized approach and assistance in areas that were most important to her. Judy remains an enthusiastic and loyal client of the firm.
This is a fictional situation. Neither the investors nor the advisor are real. The description of independent registered investment advisors is for general information purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the services offered by any particular advisor. Advisors’ services, investment strategies and conditions for accepting accounts may vary.