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In Case You Get Hit By A Bus...

In Case You Get Hit By A Bus...

About two years ago, I stumbled across a book called “In Case You Get Hit By A Bus.” The book describes itself as “how to organize your life now for when you’re not around later.” In reading the book, the author goes through a very thorough process of organizing every aspect of your life to ease the burden for those you leave behind.

Around the same time, I had a friend and client who was killed in a very sudden, very tragic accident. Despite having a financial plan and adequate life insurance, I saw how much of a struggle it was for his wife to organize all the family assets, deal with the sale of his small business, be the strong shoulder for her children to cry on and still find time to grieve for herself. Despite being surrounded by friends and family, the abruptness of their family’s loss was jarring and extremely difficult for her financially as, up to that point, she had never handled the finances in the household.

Losing my friend helped me realize that there were things we as a team could do better. Combined with having just finished the book, I noticed that a big hole in our practice was in the area of helping our clients organize their lives for after they had passed away. I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything I could so that moving forward, none of my other clients would ever be in the same situation.

I began looking into financial planning softwares and doing my due diligence to find the right one. I wanted something that would accomplish two goals:

  1. It would provide tools to make the financial planning process easier for clients to accomplish their goals while they were still living
  2. It would organize all aspects of their financial plan in one, easy to find spot for their beneficiaries after they had died.

The software I ultimately decided upon is called eMoney. After reviewing multiple other options, I felt that the facts showed this to be the clear best choice. While no software is perfect, this one accomplished the two big goals I was after.

To help make sure none of our clients have to have the same experience my friend’s wife did, we make this software available to them as part of their financial plan. The way it helps them achieve their goals is by serving as a self updating financial plan. By allowing them to Link all aspects of their finances into a single spot, they can see how all their accounts are working together and the day-by-day progress they’re making towards accomplishing their goals. Furthermore, they can run many of the same reports we as advisors use to track their financial progress and view up to date reports on their holdings. Finally, they can upload any important documents (i.e. estate planning docs) to the portal and then set up an authorized user who can access these in times of need. If the client starts to get off track from the goals they’ve set, they get automated emails to gently notify them so they can get back on course.

The second thing eMoney did for our clients was make the process substantially easier for loved ones who survive them. The fact of the matter is that many families are similar to my friend I described earlier - one person handles all the money and the other is somewhat in the dark. eMoney solves that issue by providing a single point for beneficiaries to reference and see where all financial accounts are located. It goes beyond that though - it shows beneficiaries the goals the client was working towards, the risk tolerance the client had established, the monthly budget they were living off of and where they were headed. It also allows clients to link all their trusted professionals' contact information - meaning that their CPA, Attorney, Financial Advisor, Realtor, Doctor, etc. contact information is all easy to find and accessible.

Life is full of unexpected events - some good, some tragic. As a firm, we want to be there for our clients in both the highs and the lows. Our hope is that we all live long, healthy, tragedy-free lives. However, the world isn’t always beautiful and none of us are insulated from tragedy. If the worst should happen, we hope planning tools such as eMoney can make things easier for you and your family. If you’d like to learn more about this tool or get access to it, feel free to reach out directly to me and I can walk you through its utilization.