Key Points

  • Why surviving spouses change financial representatives
  • Tips for hiring a financial representative
  • Long term care: not just for the insured
  • Post-death financial affairs: “Was there a policy/account?”

A common occurrence when a spouse dies is that the surviving spouse changes financial representatives.
Why? Because . . .

. . . the financial representative paid more attention to the now deceased spouse.
. . . the financial representative was one spouse’s friend, not the couple’s hire.
. . . other reasons.

The surviving spouse (often the wife), who is now alone, needs to understand her financial affairs and may need the assistance of a financial representative. It’s important that the surviving spouse is comfortable with this financial representative. That’s why the decision to hire a financial representative years before should be a couple’s decision.

Tips for Hiring a Financial Representative

A promising financial representative may:

  • Have a clean disciplinary record and is affiliated with a reputable company
  • Have the licenses, experience, and knowledge you may need
  • Be someone with whom you develop a rapport
  • Help you to make timely, informed financial decisions, rather than “sell” you
  • Offer referrals and experiences from other clients
  • Be transparent how you and s/he may benefit financially from the engagement

Long Term Care: Not Just for the Individual

Do you think long term care expenses impact the individual only? If so, maybe you’ve never provided long term care to a loved one. Think again.

Being a long term caregiver can be exhausting, financially, mentally, and physically. Who in your family will care for your parents if they cannot care for themselves? Can they afford care? Would a long term care strategy help manage the risk of such a potentially large expense, if needed? Will you have to leave your job to care for your parents if they cannot afford long term care themselves?

It may be more cost effective to have a strategy in place than to face the prospect of needing to be the caregiver and to leave your job. Long term care impacts families, not only the individual who needs care.

Source: longtermcareinsurance.org/dam/Americas/US/PDFs/Consumer/corporate/131168_040115_gnw.pdf

Post-death Financial Affairs: “Was There a Policy/Account?”

A good way to lose wealth is to not tell any relative about your financial affairs and not have those financial affairs updated.

As a financial services office which has been around for decades we are often asked about life insurance policies and investment accounts with designated beneficiaries which have not been updated since the policy was issued—20 to 60 years ago! You might imagine that sometimes the beneficiary is no longer around to claim the death benefit. Sometimes no one is. This creates more administrative headaches than there needs to be.

Surviving the death of a loved one is difficult enough. Organizing and/or communicating your wealth to loved ones will help facilitate that this wealth is actually transferred as desired.

For a private, complimentary, confidential consultation to help you understand your financial options, click here.