Other than being asked the best and safest way to create an income stream in retirement, the second most asked question I receive is, “what happens to my money if my financial advisor dies?” It’s a very important topic of discussion, and one that should be way more prevalently discussed.
Sure, it’s not the most uplifting conversation to have, but it’s a necessary one. It isn’t brought up nearly as often as it should be between clients and their financial advisors, but the reality is… Everybody dies. Unless your financial advisor is a cat with nine lives, it’s crucial that he or she has a plan in place.
After all, it is your advisor’s job to protect your money, right? That commitment shouldn’t stop just because they are no longer physically here to see it through. That’s why I have created my own contingency plan for my clients, in the unlikely event that something unexpected happens to me.
In fact, if you’re currently working with a financial advisor, ask them if they have a contingency plan right now. If they don’t, you may want to consider finding a new advisor.
I’m not going to go into the details of my own contingency plan here—as that is something I provide specifically for people with whom I meet—but I will tell you a few things you may want to consider…
If you’re working with a larger firm, your account will likely be handed off to one or more of the advisors within that firm. If this is the case, some questions to consider are:
- Do you get a say in that decision?
- Will you have a chance to speak to these other advisors before one of them takes over your account?
- Will you have the option to leave that company altogether and take your money elsewhere if that’s ultimately what you want to do?
On the other hand, if you’re working with an independent financial advisor, such as myself, it may be a little different. Your advisor might have other advisors within his or her firm whom can take over management your account. Your advisor may also have a network of trusted advisors outside of his or her firm who can handle your account, as well. Or, your advisor may have none of the above. That is something you really need to find out.
If you’re working with an independent financial advisor who does have other advisors to take over his or her accounts, the rules are the same as working with a larger firm, and the same questions you see above need to be asked.
The bottom line is, you’ve most likely spent or are spending a significant amount of time finding a financial advisor who you can trust with your money the way you trust a family member. You share personal and private information with your financial advisor, so of course you want to know that your money is protected no matter what, and that includes the risk of an unforeseen incident taking place.
Are you asking yourself: “What happens to my money if my financial advisor dies?”
It’s important for anyone to understand what will happen to their money if something happens to their financial advisor. However, for retirees, one of the most important things to know is that your income will never stop, regardless of what happens to your financial advisor.
You want to ensure that, if you have to face the loss of your financial advisor, the transition of your money is smooth, easy, and chaos-free. Advisors who have a contingency plan in place are the ones looking out for your best interest and striving to guarantee a stress-free transition for you if something unexpected happens to them.