Financial Triage Turns into a Long-Term Support System

The attorney of a “40-something” woman whose husband had suddenly passed away called us to help her client. The client was looking for help sorting through the family’s financial and investment accounts, developing a new budget, and learning about college funding for her two teenage daughters. She also needed to determine the best use of proceeds from her husband’s life insurance policy.

Along with grieving the loss of her husband, she felt overwhelmed, disorganized, and nervous about making a bad financial decision.  Our first task was to help to prioritize her financial decisions, only doing immediately what was absolutely necessary and delaying big decisions for a less emotional time.

To help this recent widow understand her financial big picture, we developed a net worth statement. We took into account her assets, her husband’s life insurance and her desire to work part-time. We were able to illustrate to her that she could likely sustain her family’s lifestyle not only while she got back on her feet, but also in the future (even with the expenses of two college-bound teens).

Given the huge change in her family situation, we reviewed her personal life insurance and estate planning. We assured her that these necessary elements of her financial life were adequate and up to date.

Lastly, to help eliminate some complexity, we consolidated and provided investment management services for her numerous investment accounts. Working together, we earmarked those accounts for a variety of goals, both in the short and long term.

The once college-bound teens are now college graduates and our relationship continues today with ongoing oversight of our client’s financial planning needs and investments. We are her “go-to” people when she needs a sounding board for bigger financial decisions and planning.

Actual performance and results will vary. These case studies do not constitute a recommendation as to the suitability of any investment for any person or persons having circumstances similar to those portrayed, and a financial advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation.