First of all we grieve. Most of our clients have been with us at Magenta and previous companies for many years and have become firm friends in deep, mutually respectful and beneficial relationships.
We have shared momentous events with them – new children and grandchildren; house moves; big career changes; health traumas and been delighted to hear about their wonderful holiday adventures and life experiences.
To lose a client as we have recently – a dear lady, a retired nurse, taken too soon, – is not only a shock, but also a very sad time at the office.
Of course, we know that people die all the time and because of this we have to be practical and have tried and tested processes in place to help families to recover their equilibrium after all the initial activity of funeral planning etc.
We always encourage clients to get their affairs in order whatever their age – Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney make things so much more straightforward for those left behind and by keeping copies on file, we can act quickly and efficiently when necessary.
We provide them with a Magenta Manual so they can record important information like insurance plans, utility providers; bank information and passwords etc and we have even designed a “Last Wishes” document so they can record any special requests, songs, readings etc for funerals should these be needed.
Once we have been informed of a client’s passing, we have certain administrative functions to perform –requesting and sending death certificates; informing investment companies and sending copies of wills for simple settlement; corresponding with pension trustees to confirm the correct beneficiaries are identified and ensuring that any life assurance plans are paid out as soon as possible. In short we help with the most efficient and expeditious settlement of the deceased’s estate.
But the most important thing immediately following a death, is to liaise with the family and especially elderly spouses, to ensure that they are being looked after and not grieving alone.
Later on, we can help with the settlement of the estate and probate issues and even help to divert funds to the next generation by varying the Will if this is more tax beneficial. There may be other Inheritance Tax issues we can advise on to reduce any liability.
Thereafter we will continue to look after family members who may have suddenly and unexpectedly come into money, so that they too can look forward to a secure future without having to worry about money.
Looking after a whole family is very important because over the years, older members will have spoken to us about their hopes and dreams for their children and grandchildren and we may know (often more than other family members) what they really wanted and how they would have liked their inheritance to be used.
Helping to pass wealth through the generations after death, is for us a privilege and a joy, because we often have a unique perspective, as a result of the close relationships we have with our clients, on what was important to them and what made them happy.
There is no doubt that losing a client leaves a big hole for us, but we are happy that we can provide ongoing support and guidance to those left behind.