When first meeting about wealth management with a newly-independent lady, we are patient and reassuring, but more importantly, we listen. This financial planning process is designed to help you move forward with your financial and emotional life. To help you get started on your new path, we begin our meaningful conversation by asking questions and carefully listen as you offer insight to your life. During our initial meeting, our financial advisors will focus on these points:
• Family Dynamics, Personal Values and Centers of Influence
As I become familiar with your family structure and the dynamics of your familial relationships, I build a family tree diagram to help me better understand what their roles have been and how, if at all, those roles may change. Will I be working with any of these individuals? Should we coordinate a formal introduction? What are your personal values and beliefs that have guided your life to date?
• Financial Experience and Summary
What has been your role relating to the management and/or involvement of the family finances? Have you relied on a child, sibling, or trusted friend when it comes to handling personal or financial tasks? I obtain a general overview or summary of your financial situation. What are your current financial resources?
• Goals, Obstacles, Concerns, Strengths and Opportunities
In order to maximize your success in the Financial Independence for Women™ program, I need to be attuned to your goals, obstacles, concerns, strengths and opportunities; as well as being aligned with your direction and goals. What are your short-term goals? Are there any long-term goals on the horizon?
What obstacles do you anticipate in relation to achieving your goals? For example, perhaps you have been caring for your aging parent and now with the passing of your spouse, there are simply too many tasks to juggle all at once. Are you concerned about remaining independent and keeping your financial affairs and related information private from your family?
Identifying your strengths and putting them to use can be quite empowering during this difficult transition. It is also important that we discuss any opportunities that may exist in your near or distant future.
• Short-term Cash-flow Needs
Are you comfortable with the level of cash on hand needed to cover any final expenses in addition to your short-term living costs? If not, we will brainstorm about what solutions might be available to you.
• Communication with Other Professionals
Have you contacted your accountant, estate attorney, and insurance agent? Unfortunately, widows often make financial decisions prior to consulting their advisors. These decisions can negate the benefits of a well-crafted estate plan that may have previously been put in place. I work in conjunction WITH your other centers of influence to build and direct your well-aligned support TEAM.
• The Current Financial Situation and Financial Goals
Together we identify your assets, liabilities, living expenses and income sources. If your husband solely managed the family finances, you may not know your advisors well; which quite possibly means you may not have thorough knowledge of what your assets, liabilities, living expenses and income sources are. If this is the case, I will work with you to review your financial statements and records. I will also help organize this information for you. Grief can sometimes result in neglect of ordinary, yet important tasks, such as opening the mail and dealing with financial matters. I can also assist with establishing a bill pay and record keeping method that works for you.
• Will there be Probate? Will there be Estate Tax? What are her Responsibilities and Obligations to Settle her Husband’s Estate?
Together we determine if any of your spouse’s assets will be subject to Probate. If there are assets that have to go through the Probate process, it is vital that you understand what Probate is and what your role will be in relation to Probate. We thoroughly discuss what you can expect as well as what should be anticipated.
• Warn Against Making Immediate Irrevocable Financial Decisions
Selling the house, lending/gifting to family members or making large purchases should be delayed until the appropriate analysis and due diligence has been completed by your advisors.
The initial meeting is to gather information; it is highly unlikely that any financial recommendations will be made at the initial meeting. Subsequent meetings are focused on more specific recommendations related to:
Update Estate Planning
Once we have completed the transition tasks, we will create a holistic customized wealth management solution that is unique to your situation and goals.
After we have developed and implemented your plan, we continue to actively work with you. Over time, your goals and situation may change. It is important to keep your financial plan aligned with your goals, which is why we regularly meet and stay in communication with you.