Final part 3
There are four takeaways from this story:
- Treat the gambling addiction. Financial plans have little chance of succeeding or being effective with a spouse who has an untreated gambling addiction. The author of the story said her Mom could not get to the casinos in Las Vegas because she was wheel chair bound and depended on her husband to take her to the casino. He played golf instead. This may explain why she didn’t loss everything. The remaining takeaways are for the rest of us with no addiction problem or for people in recovery (Gamblers Anonymous, Alcoholic Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous).
- Don’t be intimated by anybody. Would the couple have created the “unbreakable million-dollar-plus family trust” before Dad died? Because there was no plan to take care of the surviving widow, this trust was the financial adviser’s and the sons’ “insistence.” The author of the story suggested to parents about your adult children, don’t let your kids decide your financial matters no matter how intelligent or insistent they are.
- Seek professional help from a fee-only financial adviser. Thus, if you are a retired couple, and you don’t have a plan in place to take care of the survivor, start that conversation. If your spouse is not interested, make an appointment with a fee-only financial professional you pay by the hour for both of you. Here are two professional organizations with fee-only advisers as members: Garrett Planning Network: http://www.garrettplanningnetwork.com/ or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers: http://www.napfa.org/. Search for advisers in your neighborhood.
- Prenups are highly recommended. Having a prenuptial agreement didn’t apply to the story as the mother died before her second husband. However, if you are a widow or widower, it is a good idea to sign a prenuptial agreement when remarrying to protect your nest egg from a gold digger divorce and their debts. Without it, the possible negative consequences can be huge.
And one takeaway for the adult children:
- Never assume anything from your parents. If you are the adult children of a retired couple who you believe (or know) has money, do not assume you will get an inheritance. It’s not your money until both of your parents are gone and your name is specified in their Will. Your parents have every right to spend it or bequeath it as they see fit. In the meantime, there are risks associated, such as your parent’s potentially expensive medical or long-term care.
How to get organized, click here.