Mark Colgan, an advisor in Rochester, New York, and president of Eastside Financial Education, lost his wife when she was just 28 years old. It led him to specialize in the needs of survivors, and he has outlined six steps for advisors working with widows and widowers.
Step 1: Help Them Organize
The mountain of paperwork from banks, insurance companies, mortgage companies, closely held businesses, etc. can easily overwhelm survivors. Help them work through it.
Step 2: Recommend an Attorney
The appropriate trusts and estate attorney–and other legal specialists as needed–can identify the planning issues that lead to comprehensive solutions.
Step 3: Align Investments for Sufficient Liquidity
Many widows–even those with a high net worth–can face liquidity challenges. Especially during the months following a death, expenses can outpace income before assets are available.