If you have couples clients who are boomers, that is 65 or older – there is a good chance that the husband will die first and the family assets will then be in the control of his wife. Before you think – “no problem, it’s my account anyway,” you should be aware that 8 out of 10 women leave their family financial advisor when their husband dies.
Here are 4 steps you can take to ensure that you don’t lose your widowed clients.
- Before her husband dies. If she resists attending meetings with you, enlist her husband’s help to get her there by appealing to his sense of responsibility. Say something like, “would Mary know what to do if something happened to you?” This approach often goes a long way.
- Develop a relationship with her – in meetings be sure to make eye contact with her. Ask what’s important to ? Listen to her and validate her feelings.
- When her husband dies: call her immediately, attend the funeral, send flowers or make a donation as appropriate. Do something special – have a tree planted in his honor if you know they loved gardening. Stress that nothing is urgent and that you’ve got things in hand and can meet with her when the time is right.
- Don’t just assume she is an existing client and hand her paper work to transfer the account to her name. Treat her like a new client, earn her respect, tell her you don’t assume she’s a continued client – ask her how she would like to proceed.