Case Study #3

Creating Financial Security as a New Widow – Barbara, Age 65

The Problem
Barbara is a recent widow. Her late husband, Frank, passed away after a short battle with cancer. By the time the cancer was discovered, it was very advanced and they did not have time to think about what would happen after. Frank handled all the finances, including the management of their various retirement accounts, making big financial decisions, and paying their taxes. Barbara does not have much direction on where their various accounts are or how he was managing them. Barbara has also realized that several accounts were titled in Frank’s sole name, instead of their trust, and need to go through the estate settlement process to transfer the assets to her name.

Barbara is still grieving the loss of her husband and does not have the interest or desire to learn how to manage everything that Frank was doing. She knows there are a lot of tasks that are time sensitive and needs someone to give her guidance on what she needs to do.

The Solution
HCO Private Wealth engaged with Barbara and after extensive due diligence, provided her with a comprehensive overview of where all the accounts were held, titled, and invested. Over the next few months, HCO was able to:

  • Consolidate seventeen accounts into three.
  • Rebalance the portfolio into a cohesive investment strategy that provides stability for Barbara’s retirement and ensures she never runs out of money.
  • Identify assets in Frank’s sole name and spearhead the process for estate settlement to ensure court accountings were filed correctly and Barbara did not pay more than she should for probate.
  • Coordinate everything with Barbara’s CPA to ensure he had the appropriate documents to file her taxes and the estate tax return for Frank. HCO also identified several tax planning opportunities during the process that saved Barbara thousands in future taxes.
  • Set up a monthly direct deposit to Barbara’s checking account so she always has enough money while also handling all the financial and investment matters that Frank used to handle.

Barbara now has peace of mind that everything is being managed correctly to ensure a comfortable retirement. She has a financial advocate in HCO that she can call about any financial topic when questions arise. Having HCO on her side during this period relieved Barbara of worry, and allowed her the space she needed to begin the grieving process.

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