Losing a partner

Case study: Losing a partner

Watching a loved one lose their capacities to dementia is difficult enough without the stress of getting their financials in order. With 1600 new cases of dementia diagnosed each week in Australia, many people find themselves in difficulty as their spouse becomes increasingly unable to manage their own affairs.

Understanding your financial position

Margaret was one such client of StrategyOne Advice Network who recently lost her husband of 48 years after a long physical and mental descent starting with the onset of dementia. Margaret and her husband George had been clients of ours for 20 years. As is our practice, we had met the couple together on a number of occasions before it became clear that, with George’s dementia worsening, difficult decisions needed to be made about the ongoing management of their estate. Margaret’s involvement meant that she understood their financial position and was not left in the dark about their investments.

Simplifying paperwork

It’s common among our older clients for numerous investments to be self-managed and George and Margaret were no exception. George had a hand-written ledger to keep track of their various investments, with cash deposits and superannuation in several places. We helped George and Margaret centralise all their investments into one account in joint names so that Margaret had easy access to funds. With minimal paperwork now needed, accountancy fees were minimised and tax time became far more straightforward.

It also meant that when George eventually passed away, there was minimal disruption and Margaret had the peace of mind of knowing that their financial affairs were in order.

Updating your will and estate planning

When it came time to update their will, Margaret was very upset knowing that George’s time was increasingly limited. We talked at length of the different options in planning their estate and helped them understand the implications of each. A Testamentary trust was set up and their will updated accordingly, to ensure the financial future of blood relatives by protecting against bankruptcy, divorce and other life challenges, and removing control from any one child.

Negotiating familial relations

No family dynamic is simple and we see it as part of our job to manage familial relations with delicacy and skill so that clients’ wishes are fulfilled. After George passed away, Margaret attended a meeting at our office with one of her sons. Margaret was being intimidated by this son, who sought to take control of his mother’s affairs, so we brought in a third party to successfully negotiate for the continuation of George and Margaret’s financial plan.

Familial relations need to be handled discretely and always in the best interests of the client. Our close relationship with George and Margaret from the start ensured that we had a thorough understanding of the couple’s wishes and could support Margaret to continue what had been set in place before George’s demise.

Call StrategyOne today to arrange your obligation-free meeting: 02 9419 5233.

StrategyOne Advice Network is an authorised representative of Fitpatricks Private Wealth Pty Ltd, AFSL No. 247429, ABN 33 093 667 595 (“Fitzpatricks”).

The information in the above Case Study is of a general nature only and is not intended as a personal advice. It does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making a financial decision you should assess whether the advice is appropriate to your individual financial situation, needs and objectives. We recommend you consult a professional financial planner who will assist you.

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