Alzheimer’s had become a part of Jen’s life when her father, John, was diagnosed with it. In July 2011, Jen, along with her family, knew John was no longer able to safely live alone. Faced with more questions than answers, they needed the help of a professional to navigate John’s care and finances. Jen and her family hired an elder care attorney, who laid out a step-by-step, clear and concise plan for transitioning John into assisted living, selling his home and property, and formulating a long-term plan for his care and estate.
During this process, however, there were components that were outside the attorney’s purview, solidifying another need: a financial advisor. Jen interviewed several and opted to hire Mark. She and her family had been through a heartbreaking, difficult, and long journey with John, requiring understanding, perseverance, patience, and grace. Mark was able to partner with their attorney to ensure John could live happily in an excellent residential care community, while his estate was carefully managed, and the family relationships stayed intact.
Mark recommended and helped John’s family implement a multiyear tax planning strategy that has saved tens of thousands of dollars per year over a 5-year period. Without that planning, the tax savings would have been lost. In addition, John had investment property and mineral rights that needed to be incorporated into the planning. Throughout the scope of John’s illness, Jen was the primary point of contact and power of attorney. However, her siblings needed to have peripheral involvement and updates. Mark was able to help her communicate the plan and provide updates annually to her family.
A major goal of the planning was to protect part of John’s assets so he could continue to receive additional Alzheimer’s treatment that may not be covered by Medicaid. John has been thriving in a special Alzheimer’s wing and the planning the family has done has ensured that they could afford the special care, regardless of the financial support from Medicaid.
Sadly, Jen’s husband was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in 2016, and she had to put the knowledge gained through her father to work again. He also recently received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s on top of the dementia.
While the financial circumstances with John and his estate were entirely different than Jen’s and her husband’s, both were very complex with different nuances and goals. Mark was able to approach both circumstances empathetically and non-judgmentally. He asked sensitive questions to gain a complete picture and understanding of the situation before formulating a financial plan. The process may have seemed a bit unconventional to Jen, but disclosure of the myriad complexities and dynamics enabled Mark to evaluate the whole picture, and pull in other resources as necessary.
Mark knew Jen needed to be many things to her family; caregiver and support to her father and husband, yet also mother and grandmother. He was able to manage the plan to allow Jen the freedom to do all she needed to do. She has been a client for more than 10 years at this point.
Mutual respect and trust between North Star and their clients creates a bedrock for excellence. The end result is a comprehensive team approach and a thoughtfully formulated long-term plan that is both solid and flexible.
Why North Star Advisory Group
There’s something more powerful than luck or coincidence to help bring financial independence within reach – planning.
As professionals dedicated to continuing education and a high standard of ethics, we leave nothing to chance. We coordinate with other trusted professionals to ensure seamless management of your assets with services that range from portfolio management, insurance, tax, estate, retirement planning and beyond.
The result is a unique plan that has the underpinnings of knowledge required to carry it forward, a plan that is thoroughly researched and vetted, yet flexible and responsive to life’s many transitions.