Widow in her 70’s

A recent client was referred to us by an estate attorney. A lovely lady – her husband had died some 9 months earlier and she was getting her husband’s estate settled. While she is a very capable and smart woman – the financials were getting a little too complicated and too important such that she wanted to work with one trusted advisor instead of five different banks and stock brokers each one holding a small piece.

She was inundated with mail from each relationship and each broker did not know what the other was doing and she had a hard time keeping track of everything. The various arrangements had just kind of grown like weeds over time.

Her big question was: Does she need “all” the money to live and therefore should she have her husband’s assets pass directly to her. Or does she generally not need all the money and therefore it would make sense to move his assets into a trust to save on eventual New Jersey inheritance taxes? We did a financial plan and determined that it made sense to place most of the husband’s assets in a trust. We closed probably 15 accounts at various brokers, banks and insurance companies.

She now has 4 accounts here and the statements come together in one envelope. Her mail from the accounts has been reduced to a third of its previous volume. She now gets not only one monthly statement – but also each quarter she gets a consolidated performance report of all her accounts. And she calls us and stops by regularly to ask questions about various pieces of mail or other issues that come up. She is a welcome regular visitor to our office and everyone here knows her. No 800 number calling, no internet connection required – just personal service.