When financial planning meets wedding planning


As the fall wedding season begins, advisers should make sure they have a comprehensive plan to help clients who are getting married.

Advisers need to look at the big picture, like if the couple's retirement goals align, and the nitty gritty, such as insurance policies and estate plans that need updating.

For David Edwards, president of the New York-based wealth management firm Heron Financial Group, this process starts when the couple gets engaged.

Just as an architect wouldn't go into an initial client meeting with blueprints, an adviser should get to know a client's spouse-to-be first before creating a plan, Edwards said. His first step is to meet in a non-business setting, like a restaurant.

The adviser should look at each individual's financial holdings, insurance coverage, risk-tolerance levels, retirement goals and estate plans. A few good questions to ask: Who will pay the bills? How will you plan for big purchases? When do you want to retire and where? If there are children from a previous marriage, how will inheritances be handled?

Clients' betrothed who do not already have an adviser will hopefully sign on to work with you. If the fiancé or fiancée already works with someone, ask to review all their financial accounts, looking at how their asset allocations overlap with your client's holdings.

Read the entire article at Reuters.