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When a Client Has No Estate Plan (Source: Wall St. Journal)

From the Wall Street Journal, dated April 18, 2014:

“The client was a retired single woman in her 60s.

With $3 million in assets and no children, she had no immediate financial concerns when she visited adviser Brett Gottlieb. She simply wanted assurance that her retirement plan was still on track.

“She wanted a second opinion, basically a retirement plan check up, to make sure things were working the way she wanted,” says Mr. Gottlieb of Comprehensive Advisor, which manages $7 million for 20 clients in Carlsbad, Calif.

However, the adviser noticed a problem while he was discussing the client’s financial goals. Because she had no heirs, she wanted to leave her estate to her church. Yet she had no will or formal estate plan.

Mr. Gottlieb recommended creating an estate plan that included a trust to transfer her wealth to her church. Otherwise, he explained, her estate would go through a long and costly probate process…”

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