In our last blog, we talked about how Crystal Financial uses an integrated process that involves looking at our clients’ situations holistically instead of just focusing on what we can do for them. This often involves asking a lot of questions, finding out information we don’t currently have, and working with other professionals who serve the same client. In that blog, we looked at one case study of a client who needed health insurance. To better illustrate how our integrated process serves our clients, we’ll look at another case study in this blog.

This client was the executor for the estate of a family member who had died suddenly. Other family members were telling this client it was not necessary to file a tax return for the deceased family member. We worked together with the client and the attorney for the estate to gather all the tax information, then we checked to make sure all prior tax returns had been filed and all taxes paid. In working through the current year’s return, we discovered the taxpayer’s estate would be receiving a refund both from the IRS and the state. 

Family members continued to pressure our client to not worry about filing the deceased person’s tax return. When this was conveyed to us, we assured our client of the importance of filing the return. In this case, there were two reasons to do so: 

  1. To receive the refund that was due.  This would help offset some of the funeral expenses our client had paid out of his pocket. 
  2. To ensure that criminals could not use the deceased family member’s information to file future tax returns.

The return was filed in a timely manner and the estate received the tax refund. The estate was then able to repay our client for the expenses he had paid out of his pocket. If we had not taken an integrative approach, we never would have been able to make this suggestion and our client would not have had the extra money to help pay bills and settle the estate. This is just another example of why it’s so important to know a client’s full situation instead of only focusing on one area. We’ll look at a couple more situations where this played a big part in a client’s situation in the next blogs.

Interested in learning more about our integrated approach? Please reach out and we’d be happy to tell you more!

Judith Ackland has more than 26 years of experience in accountancy and financial planning, including seventeen years as a CFO of a diverse business. She started Crystal Financial in 2010 to help a wide array of individuals, families, and business owners better understand their finances and how good financial management could help them achieve their goals. Judith has an MA in Professional Accountancy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as well as a Certified Public Accountant Certificate and a Certified Financial Planner designation.

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