Should I Stay, Or Should I Go

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Kent Groff, CFP ®

Should I stay or Should I Go? What to do when you receive a large inheritance 

Losing a family member is hard, I remember when I lost my own father at 27. The choices I had to make and the emotions that came with those decisions- It can be a lot to deal with. The first question people have when they receive a large inheritance is: Do I keep my parent’s advisor, or do I make a change?

This can be a tricky decision and many questions arise during this thought process. If you are questioning your relationship with a deceased family member’s advisor, you’re not alone- An astounding 70-90% of individuals and families that receive large inheritances change advisors.

There are many reasons why inheritors’ change their financial relationship after the passing of a family member but the most common questions I come across in this process are:

Does my parent’s advisor understand me and my needs?

  • Even though we find ourselves becoming more like our parents as we get older, our goals, hopes and dreams are usually different. Your parent’s (or even grandparent’s) advisor knew them and their goals- Do they know yours? Are they aligned with your values?
  • If a Financial Planner only works with people who are retired, are they going to be able to give you the best guidance on college planning, buying a new house or how to direct your new-found wealth to what you want to accomplish in life?
  • Many Advisors lack the essential tax planning expertise to minimize taxes on your inheritance.

Do I enjoy working with my parent’s advisor?

  • The relationship with your Financial Advisor should be more than a surface level connection. This trusted advisor is going to be with you through life’s highs and lows and help you navigate the tough decisions you will come across throughout your lifetime.
  • There are generational differences in the country, will your parent’s advisor think like you or will they have different notions of how things “should be”.

Will my parent’s advisor still be working when I need them the most?

  • What stage of their career is the advisor in? Usually, we find that the parent’s advisor is in the later stages of their career. According to J.D. Power, more than 20% of financial advisors are older than 65.
  • Your time horizon could be 20, 30, 40, even 50 years- Will someone that is 50 or older be around when you need them for retirement and big life milestone decisions, or will you be passed on to a new advisor you do not have a relationship with?

Does my parent’s advisor understand (on an emotional level) what I am going through?

  •  Losing a loved one is emotionally difficult- Do they emotionally connect with the situation you are going through?
  • Are they able to provide empathy and understand all the questions and feelings you are having?

Turning to someone that has been through a similar situation can provide comfort and guidance on the stages of grief you will go through and the financial decisions you will need to make.

Don’t go through this difficult time alone and don’t feel stuck with your loved one’s advisor. You have emotional and financial challenges that you are facing that require someone who has been through the same situation. If you are are feeling overwhelmed with the receipt of an inheritance, and your parent’s advisor doesn't quite fit, reach out - We are here to help.