My first experience with guiding a widow through the financial morass of settling an estate was in 2003. My father had just passed away and my mother, who was a client, needed my help. I had settled several estates before, but there was no widow or widower left behind. The experience was, of course, emotionally draining. I was grieving over the loss of my father, while also experiencing the toll it was taking on my mother.
My parents were exceptional, well educated people, who raised eight model citizens. They were my first clients when I entered the financial services field. Helping my parents solve a large tax problem created by their ex-stockbroker was the catalyst for my career change. Prior to that I was working at an insurance company developing financial computer systems. My experience helping my parents solidified my desire to help others and become a financial advisor.
Over many years, I have learned a lot about helping people like you through the estate settlement process. The videos on the home page of this website outline the four most important things you should take to heart before embarking on the estate settlement process. These principals are universal. But they are just the beginning.
A lot has changed with the laws governing certain aspects of estate settlement since 2003. There are several financial mistakes that you can make unintentionally. Estate settlement is an emotional time in anyone’s life, and it is easy to stumble into tax traps. In 2018 I wrote “Preparing to Go It Alone”: Things to Know and Do Before and After Your Spouse Dies” for you so that you can sidestep these traps and assure a better future for yourself.
As a lifelong learner, I assembled some credentials that have served me well in both my first career and my eventual career as a Financial Advisor. At Regis College, in Boston, Massachusetts, I studied and obtained a BA in Mathematics and Economics. At my first career at a large insurance company in New York City, I pursued two additional degrees; an MBA in Finance from Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York and an MS in Accounting from Adelphi University, Garden City, New York.
When I left the insurance company to pursue a career in Financial Services I studied for and received the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Life underwriter (CLU) designations from the American College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and eventually the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation from the College for Financial Planning, Denver, Colorado.
Additionally, I am a long serving Master member of the Ed Slott Elite Advisor Group, studying the impact of taxation on retirement funds.