Author Archives: Brenda Potter Phelan

Roosevelt on whining

We’re not whining because we’ve developed an unclaimed asset solution

We think Theodore Roosevelt would approve.

The 26th President of the United States was known for his exuberant personality, a long list of achievements and for his leadership, strength and charisma. Despite his sickly childhood, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. embraced a strenuous life & inspired many.  It’s said that he lived his life by the motto “Be awesome or die trying” We’re not sure if that’s true but he did have a low or zero tolerance for whining.

We`re not (technically) whining when we speak of the challenges in the financial services market these days for both consumers and the professionals they deal with

A famous quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt reminds us of the mission behind our online web solution, LegacyTracker. We may complain about the growing and global problem of Unclaimed Financial Assets & the need in Canada in particular for legislation. But…we’ve also developed a technology solution to help reduce the problem.

We may complain about the need for individuals and families to be more proactive about financial and estate planning…but our solution can help with that too.

So technically speaking…we`re not whining.

LegacyTracker

LegacyTracker helps individuals and their families simplify, safeguard and share their important financial, legal and estate information.

LegacyTracker helps users become more empowered with their own information in order for them to become proactive about their finances and we think that will also make them more open to (and engaged in) working with professional financial and estate advisors.

Connect with us for more info.

 

 

Bitcoin - a headache for Estate Planners

Bitcoin – Virtual currency & new headache for estate planning

As if dealing with digital assets from an estate planning perspective was not difficult enough…now there is Bitcoin.

Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are creating  interesting and unique challenges for Estate lawyers and owners who are giving consideration to their estate plans (not to mention the future challenges for those that are not)

Fortunately, bitcoin was given due consideration in the new Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (FADAA) which specifies that `digital assets include digital currency and similar products currently in existence and yet to be invented. This Act is good news if you live in the US and your State takes the opportunity to use the Uniform Act as their legislation. The Act allows a representative or fiduciary to deal with digital assets in a similar way as they would for financial or physical assets. It shields those representatives from any inadvertent liability. Thus far there is no such progress on such legislation in Canada as far as we know.

As for some of the other issues surrounding Bitcoin, there`s a good summary from Bloomberg BNA which you can find here or as a download here: Bitcoin is creating new headaches for Estate Planners as a download

 

Estate Planning for Digital Assets

UFADAA makes estate planning for digital assets a little easier

Thanks to the Uniform Law Commission, (an US National Non profit/Non partisan organization that supplies “ready to go” legislation) comprehensive provisions are now available relating to Digital Assets.  That should help make estate planning for digital assets a little easier going forward if it’s utilized by individuals US states.

The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) makes legislating digital inheritances easier and can alleviate the burden and the heartbreak that can come when families are unable to access simple things like digital photos or messages from loved ones that have passed away. The purpose of UFADAA is to vest fiduciaries (executors, guardians, agents powers of attorneys etc.) with the authority to access, control, or copy digital assets, while respecting the privacy and intent of the account holder.

The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act solves the problem using the concept of “media neutrality.”  If a fiduciary would have access to a tangible asset, that fiduciary will also have access to a similar type of digital asset.  

The State of Delaware has taken the lead already and became the first US State to enact such legislation by enacting the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act this past week. It gives the account holder the power to decide what happens to his or her digital assets in the same way they do for physical or financial assets. At present, that power lies with the tech and media companies in control of the assets. 

There is hope that all 50 states will adopt the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act so that access to content will be honoured in the way that the user would wish. The Act can be referenced here :  UFADAA-7-17-2014

In the meantime, Google does provide a tool to help users deal with the problem which they have called Inactive Account Manager . You can also keep up to date with any progress or changes by way of a blog we discovered authored by well-known US estate planning lawyer James D. Lamm. His blog is called digitalpassing.com

Unfortunately, it seems there is no such update on What Canada is doing on this subject (Sorry).

Estate Mistake Amy Winehouse

Estate Mistakes – Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse was a controversial but talented British singer who died of accidental alcohol poisoning at the “too young” age of 27 in 2011. She also died “intestate,” meaning that she did not leave a valid will.  Her former spouse who she was quite close to at the time of her death received nothing. She might have wished it otherwise, but she left no will so her estate passed by law to her “natural heirs” as determined by law which did not include her ex-husband or her siblings. Instead, her divorced parents were entitled to the bulk of her estate and her Dad was appointed the administrator of her estate shortly after her death. It’s tragic enough to lose a child but being the administrator of your child’s estate adds to the grief.

Adding to the tragedy of her death is the fact that 3 years after Amy’s death her parents are still settling her accounts. They have been forced to use much of Amy’s wealth of some $7 million or so to settle bills and debts and taxes. Amy had 6 music companies to account for and her parents have taken out loans to cover the costs of dealing with her personal and business affairs. Sales of her music after her death should help their financial situation but as her Dad has noted “it’s been “an incredible drain on our resources. We had to have a lot of security and it cost us an absolute fortune”. 

A basic will or a trust, would have ensured that Amy Winehouse’s estate would be passed to the person of her choice which may or may not be the same as those designated by the default rules of the legislature. A basic will or trust might have also saved a lot of estate taxes by allowing assets to pass outside of probate via beneficiary designations and/or trusts. And…some basic organization to her estate might have saved her parents additional grief that comes with trying to track down details and settle final accounts.

 

Inter generational wealth transfers

Preparing for wealth transfers in the trillions – a strategic imperative

It’s a lot to lose

The looming inter generational wealth transfer may receive much attention in the news but how much real preparation is taking place in the financial services market for this transfer? Not reaching out to the spouse, or children & grandchildren (heirs) of existing clients presents a real risk. Bank of America in 2011 noted that assets transferring to a spouse move to another firm 55% of the time while assets transferring to children move as much as 98% of the time.  Bank of America aptly noted the strategic imperative of reducing the risk of inter generational wealth transfers; “a very real risk of long-term erosion to their business

How much ?

Life expectancy, rising health care costs , changing tax legislation and increasing debt levels aside, the estimated value of Inter generational wealth transfers over the next many years is in the Trillions and comes by way of 2 different phases.The so-called “Great Transfer” is an estimated $17 Trillion + that is expected to shift between the “Greatest” generation to Baby boomers. A 2nd shift  (“Greater transfer“) is another $42 Trillion + that is expected to move from Baby Boomers to Generation X.  Added together or alone, these transfers present a high level of risk for financial advisors/firms to lose assets. An estimated $30 Trillion of this total of $59 Trillion is expected to shift in the next 30 years.  During the peak of the wealth transfers taking place (between 2031 to 2045) it’s estimated that 10% of the Country’s wealth will change hands every 5 years.

Where’s the risk?

Estimates vary based a lot on wealth and income but most studies indicate that too few families (less than 35%) have discussed estate planning with their primary financial advisor. Why don’t more families take the time to discuss and prepare? Certainly, the myth of estate planning only being for the wealthy continues to prevail but so does procrastination and the ‘discomfort” of the topic generally.

At the same time, why are financial advisors not more actively engaging with clients & their heirs about estate planning matters? Some evidence suggests that most advisors happen to be Baby boomers themselves and feel that they lack effective ways to both reach out to the children & grandchildren of their clients and engage proactively with clients to establish multi generational wealth transfer plans. That’s not good (!) Estate planning discussions provide great value to clients, their families and financial advisors.

Engage/Do Good/Enhance Value/Retain

Research shows that at least 60% of inter generational wealth loss is caused by poor communication and a lack of trust within the family. Encouraging clients to talk with their family members about their expectations and values before the estate planning process begins is a meaningful way to provide value. We’ve written about the idea of Ethical wills over and above traditional will planning in other posts on this blog. (We provide a place for both in LegacyTracker)

Coordinating family meetings provides a great way for advisors to introduce themselves to the next generation and show that they care. Clients appreciate an advisor that cares and demonstrates customer advocacy on a regular basis & so will the families of those clients.   By offering a technology solution that helps clients simplify, safeguard and share their important financial, legal and estate information, financial advisors and firms can demonstrate customer advocacy to the entire family. Being organized will make a real difference for an entire family in enhancing their level of emergency preparedness.  Our branded solution can ease the potential burden on a family should an emergency arise; reducing the risk of additional grief, delay or cost that often comes when families are unprepared.

LegacyTracker can also help facilitate important discussions between both Advisors & Clients as well as between Clients & their family members about important estate planning matters including final wishes. Such discussions will enable Clients and their families to more proactively prepare for the next generation & and will enable financial advisors and their firms to show additional value.

That’s a core mission behind LegacyTracker –  providing a way for Financial Advisors/Firms to reach out to their Clients/Families which also helps those Financial Advisors/Firms to ultimately hold on to assets that might otherwise move. LegacyTracker is also a technology solution that will have particular appeal to younger clients or family members who are on the look out for a technology to make their lives less complex & more mobile.

Customer Advocacy beats Free Coffee

Of course, I`m a bit biased since I have never actually tasted coffee (Long story involving a pact made with best friends when we were 7).

However, there is a lot of talk about Customer Advocacy of late and the impact that being a Customer Advocate can have on confidence and loyalty (retention) for providers. Loyalty…is priceless it leads to retention, praise, cross selling, referrals etc.

Partnering with customers on managing their finances, making them feel confident about their financial future, and taking the lead when necessary helps them see that you are on their side and looking out for their best interests,” so says Beth Youra, Senior Consultant for Gallup.

This comes by way of a Gallup survey reported in April of 2014:  Banks: To Earn Customer Confidence, Make the Conversation About Their Financial Well-Being

”This manifests itself in customers feeling like you are looking out for their financial well-being, which, in turn, makes you seem more selfless and gives customers the confidence that you are in it for them and not yourself.”

Wise words. Loyalty is hard-earned. LegacyTracker, our branded personal financial organizer can help your clients simplify, safeguard and share their important financial/legal/estate information with loved ones and advisors. We think that’s better than free coffee or even a toaster.

 

 

Preparing for What If Scenarios

An earlier post from Brighter Life  asked  Can you imagine what would happen if you died and your beneficiaries didn’t know where to find your will?  Or your money?

That’s a much feared.. What If Scenario ..dying unprepared, without your beneficiaries knowing where to find your will or your money…Unfortunately, that kind of scenario  happens far too frequently, leaving loved ones and beneficiaries with additional stress, grief and expense often.

What If?

The article quoted well-known financial advisor Jim Yih, author of the personal finance blog, retirehappyblog.ca 

“You really love your family and friends, so take the time to get your estate organized so you don’t leave them with a big mess to sort through during such an emotional time “

The article pointed out the following 12 key documents which should be safely stored together in a place where they can easily be found:

  1. Your will: Outlining who gets what when you die and appointing guardians for minor children. Dying without a will, may lead to a family disaster with assets being divided according to provincial law & minor children ending up with the guardian that you may not approve of.
  2.  A living will: Outlining treatment should you be unable to make decisions about your own health (like receiving life-sustaining treatments).
  3.  A power of attorney: Providing someone you trust with the power to make financial decisions for you in the event you’re no longer able to do so, as opposed to the Courts deciding upon who that guardian should be.
  4.  Proof of ownership: All of those documents that relate to important assets like your house, land, vehicles, stocks and any other assets.
  5. 6 years of tax returns: Providing your executor a sense of the assets and finances that are part of your estate.
  6. A list of bank accounts and safety deposit boxes: To avoid the risk of your bank accounts being added to the 1.3 million accounts that make up $465 Million in the Bank of Canada,
  7.  Stock certificates and savings bonds: Investment account statements and & any actual stock certificates
  8.  Pension, retirement and annuity documents: Without these documents, your family may be unable to determine what remains of your retirement benefits that they may be eligible to receive.
  9.  Insurance policies: All insurance-related documents are vital for claiming insurance benefits. At this point in time in Canada particularly, no one is going to look for beneficiaries even if the policy owner might be 125 years old
  10.  A list of your debts and loans: Another list that will help ensure family won’t end up with unwanted or nasty surprises down the road
  11.  Marriage licence and/or divorce papers: Legal proof of marriage and divorce can make it easier for the executor of your estate and for your family.
  12.  Your user names and passwords: Digital assets relating to social media and online accounts are now critically important to most estates.

LegacyTracker includes comprehensive but flexible templates to take care of this chore and includes all of the above documents plus quite a few more. Life is Busy. Our mission is to help you better simplify, safeguard & share your important details for the benefit of you and your loved ones.

Learn more by contacting us

Digital Assets – in Life and in Death

In our increasingly digital world, digital assets are adding up…the average digital user (like you) has an estimated $35,000 in digital assets 

Digital assets include purchased movies, music, games, digital photos, communications and social media profiles including blogs like this. Many of these digital accounts can be subject to complicated terms of service agreements, which can make it frustrating or impossible for  loved ones to access. Depending on where you live, such terms of service agreements might even put loved ones in legal trouble related to anti-hacking or privacy statutes, if they try to log on to your accounts after you die.

 

Estate Plans for Digital Assets are becoming more critical 

That’s why it’s important to include detailed directions and information about your digital assets into your estate plan and save those instructions somewhere safe (LegacyTracker provides a spot for that)

An estimated 30M Facebook users died in the first 8 years of Facebook alone 

A good visual guide about what happens to your social media profiles after death comes by way of Dan Shaffer at WebpageFX

The world is changing and this guide is not a definitive answer in all cases. Clearly, Different Sites / Different Rules / Different Data & Different Documentation is accumulated & required after death of you or a loved one.

Here’s some more Facebook Trivia:  with 1 billion users already using Facebook, in the unlikely event that growth stopped on Facebook completely, it’s estimated that the number of deceased users would outnumber those living by 2065. If Facebook continues to grow and memorialized accounts are never removed, then deceased users will exceed living users by 2130.

LegacyTracker can help you organize & safeguard important information about your digital assets -in life and death 

Digital Assets and Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the Millennial Mind

Millennials rising: With the power to be disruptive (in a good way)

This interesting infographic on the (mysterious?) Millennial Mind highlights how Millennials have a devotion to Authenticity, Community and Giving & comes by way of PSCU : The Millennial Mind

PSCU initiated a Make your Money Matter Movement recently to help leverage what they know about the Millennial generation to attract, engage & move millennials to Credit Unions.  Based on what we know about Credit Unions and what we are learning about Millennials, that makes good sense. It seems to be paying off based on the results that PSCU has posted. It’s an interesting and insightful read.

There’s no question: Millennials (born between 1976 & 1994) think differently than older generations and they definitely have the buying power to be disruptive especially with their fresher attitudes towards living life in a friendlier manner and their preference for using technology to manage that life. PSCU summarizes it as “Millennials are drawn to business models in which extending the life and value of good s is a core tenet”

We like the way millennials think .

We can help financial service providers attract millennials with a technology offering to help them manage their busy financial lives going forward.

 

 

 

$400M+ in Lost Canada Savings Bonds is a lot of cash

There’s a staggering $400 Million + in matured but Unredeemed Canada Savings Bonds.

AND..

$400 Million in Lost or Unclaimed Canada Savings Bonds is a lot of hard-earned cash that could make a difference to many. 

And while it seems, a little UnCanadian, no one is looking for you or for your family member that may own one of these bonds. No one. That’s why it’s worth checking for yourself or for the sake of a loved one or friend.

If you think you or a family member has lost a Canada Savings bond (CSB) along the way…here’s some helpful info. if you are not sure if you or a family member has lost a CSB, I would urge you to call anyways as there is no downside, because NO ONE in the Bank of Canada is looking for owners of these Lost bonds. I can’t determine why lost Canada Savings Bonds are not listed on the Bank of Canada website alongside lost bank accounts. It’s a really BIG mystery.

However, given that T5s have been issued for the interest that these bonds have earned (which also remains unclaimed) AND the fact that tax returns have been filed by the legal owners or returns have been re-assessed on behalf of these owners, it should follow, that many of these owners could be tracked down. However, that’s not the case (the looking). We’ve volunteered to list lost CSB’s here on this website; we await a response

In any case, here’s some info on searching for lost Canada Savings Bonds

  • Gather up any info you have like Certificate Serial #, Customer ID, address at the time of purchase and the exact name that the bond would have been issued on behalf of
  • If the bond has been stolen; you should report it to police. CSB customer service will ask you for a Police report #
  • If the bond holder/owner is under 18, the parent or legal guardian must contact customer service. You may be requested to provide proof that you are the parent or legal guardian
  • If you are calling on behalf of someone unable to make the call; have them present if possible.
  • If you are calling on behalf of an estate or an individual that has been incapacitated, you will be asked to provide a certified or notarized true copy of any document that is required to provide proof of your authorization to act on their behalf (Like a Will or Power of Attorney or an Estate Transfer form)
  • If there are 2 owners listed on the bond; both bond holders must speak with Customer service
  • Make the Call-Contact info provided below

Need more info? Read more here

Contact Info

Phone – 1 800 575 5151
Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)
905 754-2012 (Outside North America)
Facsimile  613 782-8096

Email
For general inquiries only (Link for instructions)
csb@csb.gc.ca

Mail
Canada Savings Bonds
P.O. Box 2770, Station D
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J7

Delivery Address
Canada Savings Bonds
50 O’Connor Street, Suite 201
Ottawa, ON K1P 6L2

UNCLAIMED ACCOUNTS BANK OF CANADA

What’s not included in $532M in Unclaimed Accounts at the Bank of Canada

$532 Million in Unclaimed accounts held by the Bank of Canada is a very BIG balance

It’s a very BIG balance & yet it doesn’t include a lot of other financial assets that you might think are included like:

  • Bank balances from Non-Federally regulated financial institutions like Credit Unions
  • Bank balances not held in Canadian Currency like accounts held in USD (strange?)
  • Bank balances that have had no activity for 1-9 years or more (must be 10+ years)
  • Safety deposit boxes (We’re still trying to find out what happens to unclaimed safety deposit boxes)
  • Gold/Silver Certificates
  • RRSP accounts or Retirement savings accounts
  • Prepaid funeral contracts
  • Stock, Dividends, Securities or Life insurance polices/claims
  • Unclaimed amounts held by other institutions or organizations like prepaid funeral contracts or utility deposits

Wouldn’t it be nice to look in 1-2 places like residents of the US are able to do? That’s one of the many benefits of having Unclaimed property legislation in place.

 

 

 

Safeguard your family

Safeguard your family from What If scenarios

Talking about Money has historically been considered as “UnFun” but these days it’s critical. What’s even less fun than taking about Money? Money and Death.     Yes. Thinking through all of the unpleasantness that comes with death is considerably UnFun but being unprepared for a sudden or unexpected death in your family is even more so.

Statistics indicate that women will often outlive their husbands but that’s not always the case. We all know Stuff happens & that includes BAD Stuff. That’s why it’s important that each spouse take an active role in their household/family finances and know where stuff is and what they have.

Others have talked about this in their columns or blogs like the Blunt Bean Counter in his blog post “Stress Testing your Spouse’s Financial Readiness if you were to Die Suddenly” and Roma Luciw in her Globe and Mail Article Why you should stress-test your finances for a sudden death 

The bottom line is about safeguarding your family from additional grief & expense in an already stressful time by ensuring that both spouses have all the important information necessary to manage through such a time.

Let me say that I’m quite familiar with the kinds of scenarios that can occur when a death happens. As an Accountant, I have helped many overcome all sorts of challenges that have been brought about by an untimely death of a loved one (not that there is such a thing as a timely death)

I’m also quite personally aware of the stress that comes from being the “CFO of the family“. That would be the spouse that manages & holds all of the important details relating to the lives of your family. Your family might work that way as Lots of families do: One spouse is the CFO & manages all of the important financial/legal/estate paperwork & the other spouse operates (sometimes blissfully) unaware of all of those important details behind your household finances. It’s not a good position to be in no matter which role you have. As the CFO in my family, I still worry that my spouse is not going to know where everything is and whether he will “leave money on the table” It’s a pretty UnFun responsibility to be the one solely responsible for the “info”.

And now you know some of my personal secrets & some of my motivation behind LegacyTracker. it’s about ensuring that my family and yours have their important details of living life documented, safeguarded & shared with those who need to know. Details like:

  • Where the will and power of attorneys are
  • Having a readily available & accurate list of assets with account numbers & contact information
  • Having a current and comprehensive list of passwords for your digital assets and non-digital assets
  • Knowing the location of important legal agreements like income tax returns and real estate deeds
  • Knowing exactly how much insurance you have and who are your insurance contacts
  • Having the opportunity to write and share details about your final wishes/arrangements

Nothing can be left to chance.  It’s up to each of us to safeguard our financial legacies and that’s how LegacyTracker can help. That’s what we’re about.

 

Canada needs Unclaimed Property Legislation

Shining some Light on our very Canadian Problem

Grateful thanks to Ross Martowits of Canadian Press for Shining some much-needed light on our very Canadian Problem or as I refer to it…Canada’s Economic Plan in waiting. Ross took the time to speak with us this week and his article ran today in many papers across the Country today.

I refer to the need for Unclaimed Property Legislation in Canada as a very Canadian problem because in most parts of the developed world such legislation exists and it has for many years like in the US, most of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Kenya has legislation…but only in 2 provinces in Canada does any sort of comprehensive or consistent legislation exist (Alberta and Quebec) Canada needs Unclaimed Property Legislation in every Province – it should be considered an important part of Consumer Protection Legislation as it is in other Countries.

We’re on a mission to shed light on the problem while completing development of an online solution for individuals to use in order that they can securely and simply document their important financial & legal information

You can read the article as published by the Toronto Star online here or we’ve copied it here

 

MONTREAL—Millions of Canadians unknowingly have billions of dollars worth of their money and assets being held by companies and government agencies, available for recovery.

The Bank of Canada alone is holding nearly $1 billion from bank accounts and Canada Savings Bonds, but experts estimate unclaimed assets across the country could top $4 billion to $7 billion.

Canada is way behind other developed countries in having comprehensive unclaimed property legislation for all its residents, says accountant Brenda Potter Phelan.

“A country so progressive, so socially minded as Canada I find it hard to stomach that we don’t have some safeguards. In the U.S. and around the world they find this a main part of consumer protection,” she said from Cambridge, Ont., where she runs a website and blog called Legacy Tracker.

Quebec and Alberta are the only provinces with comprehensive laws, while British Columbia has a voluntary system. But Ontario is studying the adoption of its own system that could shine the light on a large treasure of unclaimed assets, including insurance policies, stocks and pensions.

In Canada, the total value of unclaimed assets is unknown but experts believe the numbers are staggering and growing.

The Bank of Canada’s unclaimed accounts grew 52 per cent over five years to reach $532 million as of December, with 93 per cent of accounts worth less than $1,000. The bank returned only $14 million to owners last year.

Non-redeemed Canada Savings Bonds and Canada Premium Bonds totalled $391 million as of March 31. The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada holds some $18 million.

Quebec has about $300 million of unclaimed financial and other assets, while B.C. and Alberta have tens of millions each.

Online searches can be conducted in each of those provinces and with the Office of Superintendent of Bankruptcy, but all Canadians can look at the Bank of Canada website.

Searches conducted during research for this story identified more than $10,000 of unclaimed financial assets for family and friends.

“I am very surprised,” Syma Shaffer said when told about the discovery of nearly $1,400 from a Montreal bank account closed in 1991.

Federally regulated banks are required to hand over unclaimed deposit accounts, term deposits & GICs and negotiable items such as drafts, money orders and certified cheques to the central bank after a decade of trying to notify the owner.

Excluded are non-Canadian currency accounts, RRSPs, credit union balances, gold or silver certificates, safety deposit boxes, insurance payments, court payments, stocks and dividends, wages and real estate deposits, most of which are covered by provincial legislation.

The largest single unclaimed account totalling $552,000 was transferred from a Royal Bank branch in Montreal. Its owner, Manuel Vinhas, had two dormant accounts worth nearly $677,000.

The bank wouldn’t comment on specific cases, citing privacy issues.

Greg Crone was elated when informed he had more than $6,600 of assets being held, likely from a deposit related to a 2003 car purchase.

But the Ontario resident couldn’t understand how RBC was unable to locate him after a move to another city since he has the same bank account.

“It’s pretty shocking. When they want to find you because you’re late on a payment or something they have no trouble finding you,” he said in an interview.

Experts say it’s not uncommon for people to lose track of their assets, forgetting old bank accounts or paid up life insurance policies. People often move without forwarding their mail for more than a year and many people die without their heirs knowing much about their finances.

“Some people live quite private lives and they die unexpectedly and people don’t even know to look,” said Darren Jack, chairman of a task force for the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization.

 

Help clients simplify finances

Trusted Advisors help Clients Simplify Finances

Good article from Tessie Sanci of Investment Executive this past month

Be the Key Advisor for your Key Clients 

“Your high net-worth clients are looking to simplify their finances and their lives. Finding a trusted advisor can help to co-ordinate all their financial affairs – and make life easier.”

Life is BUSY. We think ALL clients are looking to simplify their financial affairs.

In this article, Tessie refers to the David Maister, Charles H. Green & Robert M Galford book…”The Truted Advisor” where the authors outline what they see as various levels of Advisors providing professional services. I read this book many years ago when building up my accounting firm & yes it made a difference. The opportunity is there in many professions to become more than simply a vendor who performs the required and needed tasks related to his or her profession. A Trusted Advisor however, is one that becomes a “valuable resource” that can be consulted on strategies not solely related to the advisor’s specialties.

Giving in order to receive (eventually)” helps build client trust. Becoming a resource for your clients helps build their trust and helps them simplify their lives. That’s valuable. Sanci quotes Francis Sabourin who is an advisor with Richardson GMP Ltd. in the article ” It’s a good way to show (clients) that I care…It’s not always about investments” 

LegacyTracker is also a resource for clients as well.  Our online solution helps your clients simplify their busy lives by having one safe place to simplify, safeguard & share their important financial, estate & legal details from.

Read the entire article here  from Tessie Sanci in the Investment Executive

 

 

Parents, Kids & Money

Interesting but worrisome survey from T. Rowe Price “Parents, Kids & Money Survey” 2013 The survey set out to understand the basic financial knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of both parents and their children age 8-14 . The survey included 1.014 parents and 839 children in the US. The study was quite comprehensive..but we will share 3 with you here

The complete study can be found here

Kids and Money

And…Where do family conversations on money fit with everything else there is to talk to our kids about?

Topics to discuss with kids

Interesting but more worrying.. 50% or less of parents surveyed have strong financial habits to pass along to their children. Notably: Only 46% had life insurance. While 46% are saving for a family vacation & 39% save throughout the year for holiday shopping; only 26% have an up-to-date will.

Parents not covering financial basics

 

Please.

Get a will! We’ll be reminding you to get one …along the way with LegacyTracker.

And also? Let’s work on some of these basics so we as parents can pass them along to our children.