Imagine getting a call that one of your client’s has passed away and during the process of going through their accounts to distribute monies, transfer accounts and setup beneficiary IRA’s, it’s discovered that the beneficiary listed on the account passed some time ago. Or that the beneficiary field was left blank or worse, the beneficiary was never changed after a divorced. Can you understand how distraught the ‘would be’ beneficiary would feel?
Unfortunately, this happens all too often when an advisor isn’t keeping up with their client’s beneficiaries. There are many scenarios as to how this happens but here are three of the most common reason:
– When new account application forms are filled out and signed, often the client is undecided on who they want as their beneficiary and leaves that field blank. The account gets opened and unless the advisor has made a tickler to follow-up with their client to get that information, it goes unattended.
– When a beneficiary passes the last thing on your client’s mind is replacing the beneficiary with someone else. Unless the advisor has some type of checklist that reminds him to contact the client for an updated beneficiary, it will go unattended as well.
– A client gets divorced but never bothers to remove the ex-spouse.
When was the last time you checked your clients’ accounts? If we asked you today, “Are your clients beneficiaries up-to-date?”
What would you say? When we ask this question to new advisors coming on board more often than not their answers is “uh… I think so?”
If your answer is similar to that, we can help you rectify the situation. From reviewing your clients accounts to making sure they have beneficiaries listed to creating a checklist to use during a client’s annual meeting, or sending out update letters requesting the updated information.
It is well worth it to invest in the time to address this often overlooked task. By making sure that your client’s accounts are up-to-date it shows that you are paying attention to their well-being beyond just the numbers.
It is a welcomed feeling when we receive feedback from spouses and siblings on how comforting it was to have the account transitions go better than they anticipated during such an emotional time. In many cases, when this happens, the new account holder will stay on with the advisor because the transition went so well.
Helping to keep your clients’ accounts up-to-date is just one of the many ways that we help advisors do the things the don’t want to do, know how to do, or have time to do without the added costs of hiring, training and maintaining an employee.
If you could use this type of assistance to help keep your clients happy and off load a number of tasks from your to-do list, we would love to help you.
If interested, schedule a conference call with our office today!
Copyright 2016 Sherry Carnahan