So an attorney, a CFP and an accountant walk into a coffee shop ...
April 3, 2017 4:08 PM   Subscribe

No, but really, I need one of each of these (CFP = Certified Financial Planner) because of age and medical circumstances. My will is okay but kinda out of date, I need to update the Living Will/Health Care Proxy, Springing Power of Atty, discuss DNR. And the broker and CFP assigned to me at a financial institution are making me so tense because ... I need to make decisions about money; and, of course, they would like to keep it in-house and I don't know if that's the best deal for me right now for REASONS.

I don't know a soul who can recommend any of the above, and I think I need all of them. I know this is a personal thing to ask, but if anyone is willing to do so, privately via memail or email I would be grateful.

I am in East Midtown Manhattan, can easily take a Juno cab to Queens or Brooklyn (can't manage subway steps).

You may memail me, and I will put my gmail address in my profile.

Grateful for any referrals.

And let me suggest to all that you forge an alliance with these professional folks at an early age so that you don't have to start looking when things become, shall we say, urgent.

I'm not certain if this is an acceptable "Ask" so mods, pull it if you have to -- but ... I am an honest, intelligent person who has muddled along with mediocre documents, handling my own financial stuff well till now but ... circumstances have changed and I need a professional eye.

Many thx.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The one other thing that you need, if you can find it, is someone that you trust to act on your behalf. This is usually a family member or a very close friend whose job is to represent your interests. For example, my experience with DNR and health care proxy is that you are much more likely to get your desires met if there is someone who tell the doctors "this is what alwayson would have wanted". In the a similar vein, I would rather give the power to make financial decisions to someone who cared about me and have them hire the financial advisor than to assume the financial advisor would always put my interest ahead of personal gain. That person doesn't need to know the answers any more than you do, but they can hire the experts and figure it out just like you would.

I know not everyone is lucky enough to have those people in their lives - if my advice doesn't fit, please just skip this. If you have a person in your life that can help when you can't do for yourself, then step one is to have a conversation with them about what is going on and how they can help. Step two is to talk to a lawyer but getting everything set up so that it will run the way you want if/when you aren't in a position to speak for yourself. Updating stuff should be pretty quick and then you will know that if things go bad faster than expected, you will have the basics covered. Step three would be financial planner both in terms of getting help and also designated someone that your proxy can turn to for help in the future.
posted by metahawk at 4:32 PM on April 3, 2017

I don't have any specific names names for you but you can look at these pages for people who are at least certified to be financial advisors who will work in your interest:

NAPFA find an advisor search (pretty frequently recommended on metafilter to find fee-only advisors)

The CFP Board search (click on advanced search). I also got this from metafilter. With the advanced search you can filter by compensation method. Here is the main CFP board home page. The results from the CFB search will also give you a history of disciplinary action and bankruptcy.

Someone who is "fee only" will work for you and will not get paid based on where you invest your money. From what I can tell there are three basic models for fee-only support: (1) hourly (2) flat fee and (3) based on a percent of the money they manage for you. The first two would be better for a one time service to be repeated at whatever frequency you wanted (or never); the third would be for an ongoing relationship/management of your money.

Ideally if you find someone you like, they might also be able to recommend an attorney and/or an accountant.

I don't think you need to start with the CFP but I happen to have at least a start of an answer to that question, and not the others.

Good luck!
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 6:48 PM on April 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

You are right to be concerned that the people "assigned" you by your financial institution may not have your best interests at heart. I strongly recommend you seek out a fee-only planner, as mentioned above.

The NYC Dept for the Aging can refer you to a legal services provider for the elderly. However, there may be income guidelines you do not fall under.
posted by praemunire at 7:56 PM on April 3, 2017

I wrote you at the verizon address. Didn't see a gmail.
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:13 PM on April 3, 2017

Response by poster: The Verizon address is good, I registered at Metafilter w/that addy; and, when I checked "show email address" in my profile that one popped up.

posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 8:49 PM on April 3, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks to all who responded here, and to those who private messaged me.

To put minds at ease, I do have an Executor/Health Care Proxy who is 10 years younger than me. We have spoken about my Living Will (I do have one) and my health care desires, including DNR. So my specific wishes are known, by her and by my brother.

I have taken a step back from the CFP assigned by my broker.

I appreciate all the links and suggestions. :)
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 2:04 PM on April 17, 2017

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