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“Do you want to be the executor of your own estate?”
“I hope so!”
Yes, I inadvertently asked this question of a client in my first month in the trust business. I meant to ask who he wanted to appoint as executor of his estate but the words came out garbled. Fortunately, I didn’t ask him if he wanted to be the executioner of his own estate. Since many unusual words are employed in discussions about wills and estates, I thought a brief refresher might be useful for you and certainly useful to me.
1) Homeowners insurance does not cover damage from floods or significant wind damage. If you are a renter, your renter’s insurance does not cover flood damage to your possessions.
You’ve been in the industry for many years and have survived good markets and bad. Because of your excellent work, your clients have managed to both keep and increase their wealth. Presumably some of your best investment advice occurred when you talked clients out of foolish investments and put them into something better and more secure— Exxon, for example, as opposed to Lex, a small company which had discovered Kryptonite and was trading on the Pink Sheets at a bid of 2 ½ and ask of 4 ¾.
“My winter getaway in Key West just burned down.”
“Did you have everything insured.”
“Uh, not exactly. Didn’t get around to doing it.”
“I guess we never discussed this.”
“No, we didn’t.”
Most of us who have worked as FAs have had a conversation like this with one or more of our clients. We assume, usually to our regret, that our high-net-worth-clients have competent professionals in the areas outside of our purview. Often this isn’t the case.
What is the marital status of couples in your practice? Do they cohabitate? Are they legally married? To each other? Do you know?
As a Financial Advisor, you need to make certain you know the marital status of your clients who are couples. Straight or gay, unmarried couples must pay special attention to their financial affairs if they want their property to pass to their partner.