Copeland Wealth Management specializes in helping widows prepare for the future. One of our goals is to provide you with clarity about how our process works. Please take a few minutes to review the steps we will take together and to learn what you will need to gather.

Step 1

Schedule appointment with Copeland Wealth Management, LLC

Please plan to bring as many of the following documents and items as you can:

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A will, also known as a testament, is the legal blueprint by which a person names one or more persons to manage his or her estate; it provides detailed instructions regarding his or her property in the event of death.

Death Certificate

A death certificate is a document, usually provided by your funeral home director or by the state in which you reside, that states the deceased's personal information and cause of death. Cause of death is an important factor; it must be filled in on the certificate, or life insurance settlements and other processes could be delayed.

Social Security Cards

Social Security Cards are helpful when filling out information to transfer assets and benefits to the deceased person's beneficiaries.

Life Insurance Policies

If the deceased had a life insurance policy, we will help you file it. By quickly filing the policy with the life insurance company that issued it, the money will get to the policy beneficiaries more promptly. Having that cash is important because the deceased's banks accounts may be temporarily frozen, but bills still must be paid.

Loan Paperwork

Being the beneficiary of an estate does not necessarily mean that you are responsible for the debts of the estate or the deceased person. It is prudent to review all debt, including current credit card debt, with our estate team before meeting with any debtor of the deceased.

Mortgage Information

Your home might or might not have debt against it. If it does, it is helpful for my office to know of all liabilities so that we can properly plan for your future.

Bank Statements

Your bank statements (checking, savings, and CDs) help us identify potential creditors, current debts, and current income sources. They help us have an up-to-date picture of your finances and to plan for your future.

Brokerage Statements

Brokerage statements help us to build your financial plan for the future.

Retirement Statements

These include IRAs, 401(k)s, 457s,403(b)s, pension statements, TSPs, ESOPs, etc. These documents allow us to help build a financial statement to assess where you are now, and build a preliminary income assessment to help you move into the future.

Personal Insurance Policies

These identify insurance companies that we will need to file a claim with. Most insurance companies have their own documents for us to fill out, and they require time to process.

Tax Returns

Tax returns will help us to track down assets that might or might not be known to the beneficiaries.


Bills will help us set up a short-term plan to avoid delinquencies. They also allow us to help project an income plan that is customized to meet your needs.

Safe Deposit Keys

These keys need to be found so that you will have access to all important documents. Most people keep their will, trust documents, physical stock certificates and other important documents in their safe deposit box. These documents can be imperative to ensuring your financial stability.

Trust Documents

You may or may not have trust documents, depending on what planning was done before the deceased passed. If they do exist, they will include a key document that governs the deceased's assets.

Military Records

Military records are vital to obtaining the numerous benefits available to the beneficiaries of the deceased.

Step 2

We will schedule a meeting with your estate attorney (if necessary, we will help you find one you are comfortable with). At this meeting, your attorney will go over a legal plan of action and a timeline of what needs to be done, including a discussion on probate, debt responsibility, property transfers, and creation of new will, trust, and power-of-attorney documents.

Step 3

We will help contact financial institutions, government agencies, and other involved parties to let them know that your spouse has passed. Each institution will have different procedures for us to complete.

Step 4

Copeland Wealth Management will then help you build your new financial accounts. We will help you properly title accounts in order to avoid the complex legal process known as probate, and to help minimize the tax impact on your estate. We also help you build a detailed financial statement that is the basis of planning for the future. Finally, we will work with you to understand your investment objectives and risk tolerances. Then we will build and manage your investment portfolio to meet your specific goals and objectives.

Let's get acquainted!

We offer a complimentary "Get Acquainted" meeting to describe our services, and to see if our services are right for you.

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