sionals to develop a team that serves the client best.” If they
don’t already have an estate attorney and a tax professional,
Hatfield Charles calls on specialists within his network.
“Because the challenges, obstacles and opportunities for
the LGBT community are so different, we try to make sure
that all planning aspects work in concert,” he said. “Clients
want to work with us because they don’t have to meet five
different times with three different experts. We get all these
experts together, so it’s a much simpler and more efficient
process for the client.”
LOOKING FOR HELP
“Marriage equality has changed in many states this past
year, and yet things are still very confusing,” said Margaret
Archer, a vice president and portfolio man-
ager at Wells Fargo Advisors in Atlanta. “We
as advisors need to be more thoughtful in
addressing the planning challenges that the
LGBT community continues to encounter.”
“Clearly each of us brings our own per-
sonal experiences and our own biases to
the financial planning process,” Womoney’s
Rich agreed. “It’s important to explore with clients what their
assumptions and biases are, and respect them. But I think my
gay and lesbian clients share a lot of the same goals with my
straight clients. Our job is to help them reach those goals,
so we need to let them know about a broader landscape of
options they might not have considered.”
“There’s great opportunity for advisors, and these are great
people to work with,” Weiss said. “They tend to be happy,
positive adults, comfortable with who they are. And there’s
a lot of value you can add to their situation, because the laws
don’t look out for their best interests.”
As for those who aren’t yet working with advisors: “I think
they are looking for help,” Weiss said. “They just don’t know
who to go to. If more advisors let it be known that they’re sensi-
tive to the culture, this group of clients will grow over time.”
Olivia Mellan and Sherry Christie are the authors of “Money Harmony,”
a guide to help individuals and couples resolve money conflicts in life and
relationships, as well as “The Client Connection: How Advisors Can Build
Bridges That Last.” Olivia, a speaker, coach, and business consultant,
also offers money psychology teleclasses and facilitates intergenerational
retreats for wealthy families. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. ARCHER
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