Who will manage your portfolio when you’re dead? Probably not the person or company you want. Spouses and loved ones rarely follow the investment instructions left behind by the money person in the family.
Your portfolio can be thought of a machine, with many moving parts all working and buzzing away on their own. If you direct your own investments, however, your portfolio is more likely to resemble a well-tended garden that responds to the care and direction of you, the caretaker.
What happens to the portfolio when you pass away? This is a very real question in need of an answer, especially when you are both the caretaker and the family financial mind. Just as with any other matter, how you want your finances to be tended is important information you ought to share with your loved ones sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately, you can plan it out and hold family meetings on the subject but there is always the very real – and perhaps also, likely – possibility that your advice won’t be heeded. Spouses can forget or be persuaded otherwise, and adult children may think they know best and make the same mistakes as a novice. To make matters worse still, an expensive and mediocre advisor might get called in instead.
This is the message of a recent Forbes article on the topic. If this matter is a concern for you, then there are ways to plan around it.
For some, proper planning will entail establishing relations with an advisor and handing over some of the reins early. In terms of your portfolio and its role in your estate plans as a whole, you might consider a trust and a faithful trustee to do the work you know needs to be done.
Clearly, your investments are important to you and your family, and so they also are important to your estate plan.
Reference: Forbes (January 5, 2012) “My Spouse Will Call You When I’m Dead”
For more information on Lake Mary, Florida Estate Planning, please visit our website.