Facing the loss of a partner can be overwhelming. Almost immediately, you may be expected to make financial decisions that impact your future. But when it feels like the rug is pulled out from under you, financial planning might be the last thing on your mind. Some immediate questions that may surface include:

  • Do I sell the house?
  • Should I move closer to my children?
  • Should I change my investments

Depending on your answer, more questions specific to your finances, such as how to invest going forward or can you afford early retirement, will come up.  These are important life choices that are difficult to mull over for anyone, let alone the grieving.

The right financial advisor can help you navigate this time and plan for your new future. But the wrong one can make the decision-making process harder. Here are 3 tips to look for when finding one:

  1. Offers Personalized Service

Many financial advisors have a one-size-fits-all approach. For the grieving, they may help lay out plans for stability. This includes a way to keep paying the bills, maintain your house, and have some money left in savings for retirement. But this isn’t financial planning. The genuine concept of effective financial planning is looking at the full picture. The right advisor offers more personalized service. They listen to what the client truly wants and helps to determine what’s possible in regard to timing, capacity, and goals.

  1. Communicates Clearly

Financial planning advisors who serve the whole client are still a relatively new concept. For this reason, the industry tends to lag behind in building solid relationships and establishing trust. This often results in a disconnect between the company and the client. To make matters worse, many companies think speaking to clients in perplexing financial jargon will make them appear smart and help to reassure clients that they’re working with an expert. The result is the exact opposite – clients often express feeling inadequate and lack confidence in understanding their financial plans. Take your time to find someone with clear communication and transparent policies to alleviate additional stress.

  1. Acknowledges Family Dynamics and Influences

Consider this: A women battling Cancer is set to make a full recovery when she takes a sudden turn and passes away. As the primary breadwinner, her loss is acute for her husband. Now, he’s dealing with significant financial worries on top of his grief. He may be persuaded by his adult children to sell his house and move closer so they can help out and keep an eye on him. However, this means losing his social circle and familiar surroundings that can serve as a better support system than his family who are often busy with their own lives. The result could be even more isolating and devastating for the father.

With unexpected loss, it is quite common for judgment and insight to become clouded when families, mainly adult children, get involved in the decision-making process. Without looking at the full picture, the best intentions may not result in the best plan for the client’s needs. The right advisor will acknowledge family dynamics while taking the time to truly assist the grieving. They recognize that every situation is complicated and complex and solutions don’t happen overnight. With this in mind, they work with families to discover the best route to both financial security and the well-being and mental health of the client.

At Gates Pass Financial, our advisors take the time to communicate with you the right way – using a soft approach, patience, and a touch of persistence to keep the focus on the best plan for your needs. Once a plan is in place, we will ensure that the path forward is fully understood and stay in touch to help makes changes as needed.