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How to help parents fire FA?

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  • How to help parents fire FA?

    My parents (early 70s, declining health) have a FA that they can't get a straight answer out of. They don't know where (Fidelity, Schwab, Vanguard, etc.), how much, or what (Roth, traditional) is going on with their money. They know most (if not all) of their money is in some sort of annuity because they told the advisor before my dad retired that they wanted something that wouldn't lose money and that's what he put them in. I have a younger (early 30s) disabled sibling and no financial (or housing) plans have been made for this sibling. My parents are aware they need to get wills, trust, etc. done, but don't know where to begin. The FA says they have an in-house estate attorney, but I'm very skeptical of them using this service due to the poor advice/choices that have been made by the FA. My mom has asked for my help since they'd like me to be the executor of the estate. I unfortunately live several states away, but feel the need to urgently fly out and sit down in person with this FA to get answers with my parents because their solo efforts have been fruitless.

    What types of questions do I need to be asking? What are the different types of annuities and what do I need to know beforehand so I can be an effective advocate for my parents? Is it too late if they're all in annuities at this point? My parents are currently able to live off their SS earnings and cash savings (their house is paid off), but I know they need to start taking RMDs this year and their previous FA at this firm had them taking distributions out of their Roth account (which at least the new guy seems to have stopped and switched to traditional).

    Once I have an idea of where/what/how much, I'd like to do a consultation with a fee-only advisor and get their money away from this FA, but my parents are not great with technology and they'd prefer someone they can sit down with in their medium sized midwest town. I DIY our own finances, but know next to nothing about annuities and would appreciate any advice to get my parents out of this situation and set-up with a competent investment plan and estate plan.

  • #2
    Doing this right now with my parents.

    Sounds like they need a new financial advisor. You would be a wonderful son to help them find one.

    It also sounds like they need to do some estate planning. Why not find a good attorney in their city and go together (via Zoom) and get their estate planning done?

    Not sure which one should be done first, but it doesn't sound to me like just firing the current advisor without finding a good replacement is a good idea given their health and apparent lack of interest.
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011