ARTICLES > > How does my advisor address my responsibilities to my family?

How does my advisor address my responsibilities to my family?

By Mike Kazakewich

“We feel a sense of responsibility and duty to help clients look after, plan for, and protect their loved ones, and we encompass this into our holistic approach to financial planning.”

One of the planning issues we address on a recurring basis is the responsibility our clients have assumed for their family members.  As a firm dedicated to the individual needs of our clients, we are mindful that the broader family must be considered when developing a plan and hold ourselves accountable to delivering solutions which bring about greater peace of mind for individual client and his or her family.

At Coastal Bridge Advisors, we provide a family office service, acting as stewards of our clients’ financial well-being.  Far too often when we are introduced to new prospective clients, the needs of the broader family have been ignored.  In three separate examples below we highlight the impact we can have for our clients and their loved ones.

Advanced Care Directive.  While talking through the trust and estate plan with a married couple, new client to our firm, it became evident they had not considered establishing estate documents for their children including their 18-year old son who was about to travel on a school trip.  We discussed the benefits of having an Advance Care Directive for Health Care, which allows the parents to act on their adult child’s behalf with regards to medical decisions.

Given their son’s travel plans, we introduced the clients to an attorney who, in less than a 24-hour period of time, was able to draft and execute the needed documents prior to the son’s departure.  It was only two weeks later when our clients relayed to us that their son had to have emergency surgery while on the trip; having these documents in place resulted in seamless communication with the hospital and medical providers during a difficult time.

Special Needs Trust.  In another instance, we helped our clients implement a plan to provide financial structure and support to their adult disabled son. As the parents began to age, they worried their son would not have sufficient resources for his care in the event of their passing.  Our suggestion was to establish a Special Needs Trust (sometimes known as a Supplemental Needs Trust) for their son’s benefit.

The Special Needs Trust would allow the son to enjoy the use of the assets held in the trust for his care and benefit, without jeopardizing the potential for needs-based government assistance.  The trust also provided a measure of comfort to the parents by way of establishing administrative provisions as to how the trust should be managed and identifying successor trustees in the event they were no longer alive or capable of providing oversight.

Sandwich Generation.  In another example, one of our clients expressed her interest in offering financial support to her husband’s mother as she aged. The strong desire to provide assistance was countered by the questions about what form that might take and how that would impact the client’s financial and personal goals.  After discussing a number of options and revisiting their financial plan, the clients’ agreed on a two-prong approach focused on annual gifting to provide tax-free gifts to the mother as well as obtaining a Long Term Care policy to defray significant care expenses.

This concern of the “Sandwich Generation” (commonly defined as those that have a living parent age 65 or older and are either raising a child under 18 or providing care or financial support to a grown child) resonates with many clients, and we pride ourselves in being able to help navigate the best way forward.

As evidenced though these examples, our approach at Coastal Bridge Advisors does not start and end with the client. Instead, we are looking through to their families who we see as an extension of the client. We feel a sense of responsibility and duty to help clients look after, plan for, and protect their loved ones, and we encompass this into our holistic approach to financial planning.

Important Disclosure: This article is provided for informational purposes only and contains information that is not suitable for everyone. Nothing herein should be construed as the provision of personalized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any references to Coastal Bridge Advisors clients or clients’ experiences should not be considered to be
representative of all Coastal Bridge Advisors clients and their experiences. Your experience may vary according to your individual circumstances and no portion of this article should be
interpreted as a testimonial or endorsement of Coastal Bridge Advisors’ investment advisory services. There can be no assurance that Coastal Bridge Advisors will be able to achieve similar results for all clients in comparable situations or that any particular strategy or investment will prove profitable. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed in this article will come to pass. Investing in the stock market involves gains and losses and may not be suitable for all investors. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change without prior notice.

June 2016