Case study: Losing a spouse

Finding clarity in a difficult time

The following is based on one of Ellis Wealth’s clients. All of the names and telling details have been changed to preserve client privacy.

The last thing anyone should have to worry about after the death of a spouse is whether or not they will have enough money to live their remaining years in comfort. Wendy, 68, is a client that recently lost her husband, David. They worked with us as a couple for over 10 years before David lost his battle with a chronic illness that began 2 years prior.

When David was diagnosed, we met with the couple to prepare for the worst and ensure Wendy’s future was well looked after. Throughout their marriage and like most couples from their generation, David handled most of the finances. This worried David and highlighted the need for clear and consistent communication to help them both feel confident that, after he was gone, Wendy would be okay. Working with the couple, we helped them both gain clarity on their finances and ensured the future for Wendy would be to a standard she deserved. Some years before David’s diagnosis, we had worked with them to put a life insurance policy in place on his life as a preparation for the future.

When David passed away, this policy paid into a trust that allows Wendy to receive the income with little to no tax and not encroach on the capital. After the policy paid out, we had a meeting with Wendy to let her know that she will be okay and her needs will be met by the income she will receive. She may not know everything about her finances, but Wendy is learning more and more as time passes.

In the months since David passed, we continue to work with Wendy to ensure her cash flow needs are met and that she will pay a minimal amount of tax each year. Although it is a difficult time, Wendy is confident she can continue to live her life on her terms and will have the cash flow to meet her needs.

The opinions expressed in this report are the opinions of the author and readers should not assume they reflect the opinions or recommendations of Richardson GMP Limited or its affiliates.
Richardson GMP Limited, Member Canadian Investor Protection Fund.Richardson is a trade-mark of James Richardson & Sons, Limited. GMP is a registered trade-mark of GMP Securities L.P. Both used under license by Richardson GMP Limited.


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