Investing

Who will look after your investments if you die or lose your faculties

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 12th, 2020 11:03 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
2650 posts
2209 upvotes
GTA West

Who will look after your investments if you die or lose your faculties

I am impressed by the smart RFD guys who execute various low cost investing strategies without the use of an advisor.

But how many of you have spouses who can seamlessly maintain your discipline and strategies should you die or have an incapacitating illness? After all, most of us men marry women who are somewhat younger, and 5 to 10 year differences are fairly common. So you partner may have to live on your assets for many more years, when your experience and knowledge are gone.

When you get older and live off your investments, and the prospect of dying sooner than your partner looms, what steps do you take if she (or he) has always left the investments and redemptions in your hands? You will want to ensure she/he continues to have a steady income and that wise decisions are made about your holdings. How would you expect your partner to handle that if she/he has never taken any interest?
2 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 27, 2017
2180 posts
949 upvotes
really good question & pointers OP

its case by case, individual to individual, age, health, economic lifestyle structure, dependents, are there others involved or that could be part/parcel of 'in case of death or loss of faculties'

its not possible to know when stuff happens, so plan accordingly, have some stuff together, share all the financial information 'now'

unlike my FIL whose wife (MIL) was the money handling/investment person, she pre-deceased him by 15 years, he was so bad with financial matters he hadn't a clue how to do banking, where the money was & in what - and they never had any investments other than regular bank accounts & GIC.

wife & I had to get him up to speed, consolidate everything to a chequing & HISA ... sweet & simple.

on the OP, man or woman, spouses/partners should each get to know where everything is & if one of you is less savvy than the other, have it that on death or unable to do things of either one or both that there is in place a 'power of attorney' as well as 'in case of death instructions' with specifics already in place today, along with a will of 'what to do, what to not do, what to liquidate etc'.

wife & I in our 70's have our assets down to simple money.

we have two pages of written instructions in an envelope of where everything is & what to do 'in case of' the event, marked 'in case of death or other'

first off everything is in joint names, neither of us have RRIF, there are no company pensions, each TFSA is beneficiary to the other.

the small joint account investments are less than 10% of our total net worth

35% is real property that we live in, 55% cash as in liquid cash not tied up or invested.

so whether she goes first or I do (we were born the same year) I believe the finances left for one of us to handle is simplified enough that even our children could handle the estate.

keep in mind 'when you are dead you have zero control over anything that you left behind'
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2007
4766 posts
3860 upvotes
I am impressed by the smart RFD guys who execute various low cost investing strategies without the use of an advisor.
I'm not smart. Aside from a brief one year period in the late 1980's, I've always invested on my own.
But how many of you have spouses who can seamlessly maintain your discipline and strategies should you die or have an incapacitating illness?
I don't expect my wife to maintain discipline or strategies. Over decades the market keeps changing and so do products offered. She'll just have to do the best she can if I go first.
After all, most of us men marry women who are somewhat younger, and 5 to 10 year differences are fairly common.
Not a problem for us. Only just over one year age difference.
So you partner may have to live on your assets for many more years, when your experience and knowledge are gone.
Unless something catastrophic happens, she should have enough.
When you get older and live off your investments, and the prospect of dying sooner than your partner looms, what steps do you take if she (or he) has always left the investments and redemptions in your hands?
At least she's willing to read, learn and ask questions.
You will want to ensure she/he continues to have a steady income and that wise decisions are made about your holdings.
She already has steady income from both pensions and the portfolios. My wife is not a big spender, and we've both always lived with our means with savings left over.
How would you expect your partner to handle that if she/he has never taken any interest?
As mentioned above, at least she's taken some interest. Within the last couple of weeks, all TFSA's and an RRSP and RRIF have been converted from four index ETF's and TD e-Series funds to a low MER balanced ETF in each account. Makes things a little easier.

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