Case Study: Death of a Spouse or Partner | Coldstream Wealth Management
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Mary’s husband had always managed their investments prior to his death. She didn’t really know what she had, estimating the assets to be approximately $6 million. After consolidating the assets spread between 15 different custodians, we discovered she really had nearly $11 million.  Mary wanted to take care of her own standard of living needs, provide for her children, leave a legacy in her husband’s name, support disease research, and support the local arts scene.

Coldstream identified what assets were required to support her standard of living, and built a portfolio that met her cash flow needs while maintaining a low risk profile. We helped frame the discussion of how much Mary might leave to her kids above the assets in her husband’s credit shelter trust.  The control provisions on the husband’s trust were very stringent, so we suggested Mary amend the terms of her estate documents to be more lenient with the children’s ability to access the funds.  The assets earmarked for her kids were invested with a higher risk-return profile.  We facilitated a family meeting to explain the estate plan, the asset allocation and charitable gifting strategy to Mary’s kids.

The remaining assets were available to fund Mary’s gifting aspirations.  We helped her set up a private foundation, partially funded now with the remainder at her death, to support disease research.  We facilitated the discussion with her husband’s alma mater about endowing a chair in his name, and determined which assets made sense to donate to fund that gift.  In addition to ongoing management of the investment assets, Coldstream facilitates the annual gifting to her favorite arts groups.

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