A surprising, but natural progression, of our practice has been expanding our work from divorce and separation, to helping people rebuild after the loss of their partner.
The circumstances are, obviously, different – but there is some common ground.
Your future has completely changed, and you’re having to make big, consequential decisions about your money – when you may not have much experience in finances.
Changing the name on the bank accounts. Dealing with super funds. Claiming on insurance policies. Updating government agencies. Speaking with lenders. Working through the will.
I’ve found there are two ways grieving people look at these dry, mundane matters in the wake of a loved one’s death.
Either they’re repulsed by the idea of having to deal with such heartless, bureaucratic busywork – sitting on hold for hours, providing forms for the umpteenth time, getting records together again and again.
Or it’s an escape from the heartbreaking weight of their new day-to-day routine.
Either way – we can help in whatever way you need.
Before I get to how we can help, I thought it might help to discuss why we work in this space.
It stems from our work helping people through divorce.
Obviously a very different scenario, there is one stark similarity with people that have lost a loved one – the future they had is now gone.
And after the acute pain of their new life has subsided, there is still a long period of recovery, reflection and – eventually – rebuilding.
This translates well, I believe, to helping people dealing with a gaping loss in their lives.
I’ve also seen, in my career, the impact advice can have on people through such a challenging time.
Yes, in many cases, the bad impact it can have. The insensitive comment from an uncomfortable adviser, or their disappearance because they truly don’t know what to say to somebody grieving.
Or the presumption of the continuation of a professional relationship – rather than adjusting it to fit their client’s new life.
Or, at the very worst, the damned exploitation of a grieving widow. There’s a special place in hell for such rogues.
But also the positive impact great advice can have.
How it can alleviate the worries that might overwhelm in those months after death.
How we can assume some of the administrative burden.
How we can ‘hold the fort’ while you get to the point where you’re comfortable making decisions again.
The comfort that can come from plans made long ago.
So, that’s why – to protect people from The Bad, and help them with The Good.
Now, what does that actually look like?
Our role is quite limited in the period immediately after your loss. There are, of course, things far more important than money to deal with.
But when you’re ready, we’re here to help:
Claim on any insurance policies that might apply.
Work out what to do with their superannuation.
Update any investments and plans you have in place.
Deal with Centrelink.
Put in place a very short-term, safe plan to give you the time and space to decide what you’re going to do financially.
After some time – and its a different length of time for every person – you will get to the point where you start thinking about your new future.
It’s a sensitive, difficult time. So, again, when you’re ready, we’re here to help you:
Map out what you might like from your new life.
How to arrange your finances so they’re helping you build that new life – not stressing you out and bogging you down.
Put in place the measures and plans to give you the greatest chance of building the life that you want.
Under the Corporations Act, advisers can only call themselves ‘independent’ if:
These strict rules mean that there were only 84 truly independent financial advisers in Australia when we received our license.
We are very proud to have been the 85th.
What Does It Mean?
Our advice is – always – solely in your best interests. We have no ties with any bank, institution or product provider. No commissions, no percentage fees.
We’re here to help you rebuild your best financial life. So we work for you, and you alone. Just clear, useful, independent advice in your best interests.And for people facing one of life’s big upheavals, we think that’s pretty important.