What Do You Do When Working With a Client Whose Spouse Passes Away?

bereaved client financial advisor grief communication grief literacy Oct 04, 2021
bereaved client, financial education

Today, I want to talk about firsts. When you have a client whose spouse passes away, you have a series of things that must happen. So first thing, we want to organize our empathetic actions.

#1. You must call immediately.

Don't text, don't write, don't send a message. You call and learn how to script what you say and what you shouldn't say.

#2. You need to go to the service.

The memorial service, if they're having a celebration of life, whatever they're having, prepare prior exactly what you're going to say. And it will have nothing to do with the X'S and O'S and the numbers and charts.

#3. Prepare and play offense, so that your first meeting with the bereaved client is welcoming, unthreatening.

You need to play some offense here because I'm reminded of a time when I became a widow and sitting in the parking lot, knowing I had to go to see either an accountant, an attorney, a life insurance policy, a financial person, I literally had to muster up all the strength and courage that I had to just get out of the car. So when I climb those stairs, your client climbs those stairs, comes to your office, don't make them wait. Escort them right in to you. Make sure you have trained all of your people that they are coming to today. Offer them something to drink, make sure your office doesn't have any barriers.

These are three firsts that you must do.