October 11, 2019

Be Prepared for an Untimely Death

Whom should I call when something happens to my spouse?

We are often asked this question. Life throws all of us difficult circumstances, and Piedmont's caring competent team is ready to assist during these distressing times. Here's an example:

Problem: An untimely death

A client retired on December 31, excited about her next phase of life including relaxing travel and more time with grandchildren and her already-retired husband. Just six months later, her husband died suddenly from a heart attack after a Sunday afternoon playing golf.

Piedmont Capability: Providing calm during the storm

We were among the first calls the wife made following her husband's untimely death. We stepped in to assist with various projects ranging from arranging cremation details to packing up her husband's belongings. We viewed these assignments as a critical part of our service to this family.

Result: Informed decision making

We walked alongside the family as they recovered from their tragic loss. Our knowledgeable team members have seen a surviving spouse rush into the "to dos" of the estate administration because doing something - anything - feels like progress, but we know that it's important to take time before making financial decisions.

In an uncertain and upsetting time, Piedmont is a trusted and reliable resource. Knowing that, our client gave herself permission to slow down and grieve. Because we are prepared to help clients deal with grim situations, we were ready at the appropriate time to help her

with the next phase of decision making just as she and her husband had planned. As we assisted our client, we let her know of a recent Supreme Court case* that will benefit her family going forward because related family trusts won't have to file income tax returns in as many states as they have in the past. Our team members stay up to date on changes in state and federal law and look for opportunities like this to talk with clients about how these changes affect their family.

Piedmont has more than 90 years of experience helping families work through major life and financial transitions. In a time when the wealth management industry is dominated by large institutions, Piedmont offers an alternative: confidential, professional, and personal service focused exclusively on the complexities of family wealth.

*North Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust, 588 U.S.__(June 21, 2019)

To learn more about how we have assisted families, please contact us!


Louise Maultsby Bristol
Senior Trust Officer