Grieving is hard enough already; banks shouldn’t make it harder
We had prepared several items: a power of attorney, a representation agreement, a do-not-resuscitate order, a bare trust and a will; everything I tell my clients to do, I had prepared for our mom. Not only did they prepare me for confirming my mom's body, but they also included notifying the Canada Revenue Agency of my mom's passing in their service offering. The agent walked me through how to upload all the required documents and to register as my mom's estate representative. Then came my meeting with the bank to open an estate account. This banker knew my mom personally and knew me as the power of attorney while mom was alive. There aren't enough people who train as trust and estate professionals, so banks and brokerage houses and financial custodians house their estate professionals in head offices where no one has to see the grieving family members. Why on earth would we make it extra hard for them to open accounts and, later, make distributions from the estates? Is it because our banking and investment industry knows that, on balance, women are less financially literate than men and might be more likely, in a grievous state, to just take the instructions from the financial institution at face value? Well, I can tell you that even though I am a financial professional with lots of experience, I really felt like taking all my business from my current financial institution and moving it somewhere else.