Case Study: Managing Wealth for the First Time

Case History

Newly and unexpectedly widowed at the young age of 59, a surviving spouse was named executor of her late husband’s estate. The estate was complex, holding many illiquid investments, partnerships and real properties in multiple states, among other issues. The attorney who assisted the surviving spouse in probating the will thought that she could benefit from our services as agent for executor.


The surviving spouse was competent in her role as executor, but the size and complexity of the estate was overwhelming. In addition to assistance in transferring the assets properly and closing the estate, the surviving spouse also needed a new plan for her own financial future.

As agent for executor, we were able to completely recreate the estate accounting from years of bank statements and receipts. This allowed us to determine the exact value of assets that belonged to the estate and to the surviving spouse. We were able to guide the client through the funding recommendation for the downstream trusts, which involved the coordination of numerous estate and income tax considerations. We kept the administration process moving along by collaborating and communicating with the surviving spouse, her attorneys and her accountants as well as the officers and legal counsel of the closely held entities in which the estate held interests.

Goals Achieved

The surviving spouse is now trustee of the multiple downstream trusts created under her late husband’s will. We continue to work with her to help her understand and carry out her duties as Trustee. We track distributions, maintain records and pay quarterly taxes for the trusts and the surviving spouse personally.

The surviving spouse was very relieved to finally be able to spend time with her children and grandchildren after a year of constant phone calls, mail, bills, sorting files, and visiting with CPAs and attorneys.

The surviving spouse also has her own estate plan in place, enjoys a predictable income stream, and takes great comfort in knowing all of her financial affairs are in order.

Services Provided

  • Comprehensive Wealth Management
  • Financial and Estate Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Estate Administration – Agent for Executor
  • Agent for Trustee
  • Bill Pay


Name: Christine (59)

Occupation: Retired

Net Worth: $5 million

Children: Two children