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Talli Sperry: Hi, I’m Talli Sperry, and you’re watching a replay of our recent webcast, “Preparing for the unexpected: Why spouses and partners should plan together,” an in-depth discussion with our experts. We hope you enjoy it.

Good evening. I’m Talli Sperry, your moderator and leader of the Family Office and Family Legacy teams here at Vanguard. Welcome to tonight’s live webcast, “Preparing for the unexpected: Why spouses and partners should plan together.” We’re glad you’ve joined us for this important conversation focused on why it’s so important to participate in wealth planning with your spouse or partner, and how planning together now can ensure you and your significant other are fully prepared for unexpected life events.

Tonight, I’m joined by three very knowledgeable guests and experts, Vanguard’s Louisa Guthrie, Kevin Wick, and Krysta DosSantos. They will discuss how to best approach wealth planning with your partner or spouse so you’re both prepared to execute your financial plan. We’ll spend most of the webcast answering your questions. And first of all, we’d like to thank to those of you who submitted questions in advance – and we encourage all of you to keep sending in questions as you’re watching.

These conversations are designed to support and connect with the Vanguard community of investors, so we definitely want to hear from you!  And we’ll get to as many of your questions as we can. 

Now, before we dive in, if you need to access technical help, it’s available by selecting the blue widget, and that’s on your left. And if you’re interested in learning more about Vanguard’s perspectives on investing, click on the green Resource List on the far right of the player. There you’ll find additional investing insights.

And with that said, let’s turn to our guests. As I mentioned, we have three very knowledgeable guests with us tonight: Louisa Guthrie, senior client manager for Vanguard Ultra-High-Net-Worth Services; Vanguard Senior Wealth Planning Strategist and Estate and Trust Specialist, Kevin Wick; and Vanguard Senior Relationship Manager, Krysta Dos Santos. Welcome and thank you guys for being here tonight.

All: Thanks for having us.

Talli Sperry: Of course. So our topic tonight is Preparing for the unexpected: Why spouses and partners should plan together. Louisa, as a senior client manager in our ultra-high-net-worth division, you work with clients directly on preparing for unexpected events. Can you share a little bit about what you’ve seen?

Louisa Guthrie: I think no one expects the worst to happen—and it can be incapacitation, it can be a sudden death—and our recommendation and what we’ve seen time and time again is to make sure that the planning is done, number one. We’ve also run across situations where actually the planning was done, and it was done well, but there was no communication between the planner and the partner or spouse. And it results in some resentment after the fact and not understanding why certain tasks were done. So we are huge fans of planning and making sure the communication happens between the partners.

Talli Sperry: Yes, we want to do whatever we can to level out these uncertainties. They’re going to be hard, but at least we can make them a little bit easier.

Kevin and Krysta, I know you work with families regularly on wealth planning and wealth planning strategies. Can you talk a little bit about what you see families dealing with as they try to prepare for the unexpected?

Kevin Wick: I think Louisa’s second point is especially important. Too often it’s a lesson that’s only learned after the fact, after you’ve lost a loved one and start to look back and understand, “Oh, if I had only known, if I had only understood, if I only knew more about what mom, dad, whomever would have wanted.” And I think it’s a theme we’ll hit on a lot tonight but underscores the importance of communicating early on.

Talli Sperry: Yes, that communication makes a difference. I think it’s the largest reason wealth doesn’t transfer effectively to the next generation. And, Krysta, do you see this?

Krysta Dos Santos: Oh, for sure, and we see it with any client. It does not discriminate by age. It could happen at any time. Is it likely to happen? No, probably not. But in every single instance where we have seen it happen, it’s been a really chaotic time. So wherever you are in that planning process and however prepared you are, the more that you do today, you’ll thank yourself one day that you’ve put these pieces in place.

Talli Sperry: And probably those left behind will thank you as well.

Krysta Dos Santos: Oh, for sure. It’s a great gift you can give your family.

Talli Sperry: Yes, really well said.

All right, so those of you who are webcast regulars know that before we take questions from our viewers, we like to connect with our audience by kicking things off with a poll question for you. So since we’re talking about preparing for the unexpected tonight, we’d like to ask you about your experiences with this topic.

So on your screen now, you’ll see your first poll question which is addressed to the primary financial decision-maker for the family. So, “How prepared is your partner or spouse to step in and take control of the family’s financial affairs?” So the choices are fully prepared, somewhat prepared, or not prepared at all. If you take a moment to respond, we’ll come back to you with your answers in just a few minutes.

And while we’re waiting for the results, let’s jump right into our first presubmitted question. So this is from Scott from Dartmouth, Massachusetts, who’s asking, “What is the biggest thing that partners get wrong that sabotage their plans?” Louisa?

Louisa Guthrie: So I’m probably going to beat a dead horse, but it is again that planning. And I think all of us have worked with clients who did not do the planning and you said it very well, Krysta, it’s a chaotic time but also filled with angst. You’ had a loved one, and something unexpected has happened. Again, we talked about incapacitation or death or all sorts of other things. And what we have found is when you’ve got a partner or spouse that was not in the loop at all—had not been communicated with, even with the best of intentions, having been planned—it is just a very difficult time. That’s all I can say. So, again, I’m going back to planning and not to assume that the worst doesn’t happen because it can and does, and we’ve all been there to kind of help pick up the pieces.

Talli Sperry: Yes, we’ve all seen people think, “Oh, I’ll have time to prepare for that.” Sometimes these things, even incapacitation, we’ve seen it sneak up on a client.

Louisa Guthrie: That’s right.

Talli Sperry:  It looks like our poll results are in; and it looks like about 15% feel fully prepared, so it’s good that you’re all with us tonight. 68% feel somewhat prepared, and then 16% are not prepared at all. So I think our topic is timely. Do these results seem consistent with what you see when you go out and work with clients?

Kevin Wick: Absolutely. It’s why we’re talking about it tonight. Ideally we’d have everyone in that fully prepared category, and it’s where we want to get to. But all of the elements of real life come into play here, and we’ll talk about what you need to focus on and hopefully take some action going forward.

Talli Sperry: Yes, because no one wants to pause and think about this topic, right? That’s not necessarily the dinner table conversation you want to bring up, but it is important. So we understand why some of you are just somewhat or not at all prepared.

Louisa Guthrie: And if I can say just one thing, it’s also very difficult. It’s time consuming, and you think some of the decisions are really, really easy. But you talk through just guardianships of young children. Immediately, you think, “I know exactly who I want that to be,” but when you think through the logistics, upheaval of the children, moving to another state, financial implications, I think it becomes a lot more difficult. But the more important point is you need to spend the time to be prepared.

Talli Sperry: Yes, that’s well said. And I’m thankful that you put some tools in our Resource List widget, which we’ll talk about later. But I would encourage our audience to keep an eye on that as we discuss certain tools because they’ll help you through some of those difficult planning stages.

All right, so let’s ask you another poll question. So this one’s intriguing, and it surprised all of us. So which of the following is the average age of widowhood: 59, 69, or 79? Please take a minute to respond, and we’ll get to your answers in just a few minutes.

 Let’s look at another presubmitted question. So this one is from Ed from Lyons, Colorado. And he says, “What do you do if your spouse has no interest or capability to manage money? I named my children as trustees.” Krysta, do you see this?

Krysta Dos Santos: Oh, all the time. And, actually, when I think about that bucket of people that said that they were not at all prepared or only a little prepared, normally what I hear is a disinterest. There’s a disinterest or a sense of overwhelm where it’s too much to learn. And I think some clients have had some comfort in hearing from me. I’ve shared that I started my career in fashion, and I’ve moved to finance. And so I’ve shared that you don’t need to make a career change. If you’re the less involved spouse, you don’t need to become the next Warren Buffett or the next all-star investor, right? Instead maybe the goal can shift and say, “Let me be better than I was yesterday or let me have this baseline foundation information so that, God forbid, I find myself in this really unfortunate spot, I could have that to kind of fall back on and have a little bit of extra clarity and a little bit of extra confidence.”

Talli Sperry: Yes, I think that’s good because we often see one spouse knowing so much that the other spouse feels like there’s no way they could get to that level of knowledge. And often people in this audience actually are highly knowledgeable investors, and so when we find people feeling that pressure to learn at the same level as their spouse, it gets tricky. But you’re right, just a base minimum can get you a long way.

Louisa Guthrie: I think also there’s an assumption made sometimes that someone who’s not involved in the financial aspect of the household is not interested, but sometimes that’s not the case. They simply have deferred to the partner who really enjoys it, loves it, and is fully capable of it. So they pretty much take a backseat because they don’t have to get involved. I think as we go through this discussion, we’ll find out everybody needs some involvement.

Talli Sperry: Yes, and we’ve seen a lot of people learn they’re more capable than anyone would have thought they were, right?

Krysta Dos Santos: That’s right.

Kevin Wick: And if you’re the person who’s less interested or less involved today, find one little nugget that interests you tonight and then just take action on that tomorrow. Small steps.

Talli Sperry: Yes, building blocks, good

So let’s look at our poll results. It looks like 20% guessed 59, 66% guessed 69, and 12% guessed 79. So, like us, most of you didn’t get this one. Louisa, you want to share the real answer?

Louisa Guthrie: Absolutely. On your screen is some information, and the average age of widowhood is 59, and I think it blew all of us away, frankly. I think we were all thinking 75 at least. So 59 was really something, and it’s a compelling call to action because if a 50-year-old, 59-year-old is going to be losing a partner or spouse, they need to be prepared for it.

The other thing that surprised us was how many widows are made in a given year, so that’s also up on your screen. That was also shocking. We know that the statistics say that women often outlive opposite-sex partners, I think you see in those numbers that that is the case, which is another reason why we want to make sure both parties are very involved and understand what next steps are.

Talli Sperry: Yes, the talking together, this is why it’s so critical. I think also we see a lot of couples say, “Oh, we’ll tackle all of this in retirement,” but these statistics show retirement may not come together.

Krysta Dos Santos: That’s right.

Kevin Wick: If you think about just what practically that means, if you lose a partner at age 59, the other’s got at least 10, 15, 20 more years of life to go and a lot of time to be supported financially and otherwise. So, again, it underscores the importance of taking action on some things we’re talking about tonight.

Talli Sperry: Yes, great. All right, so we do have a live question, so thank you so much. Please keep these coming in, they make our discussion really alive. So, Kevin, this one is for you, and this person is asking, “What are the top three things the plan should cover?”

Kevin Wick: Well, first and foremost, it needs to consider your own personal wishes or the wishes of you and your partner, you and your spouse. You want to have those clearly set out in black and white. So one example would be your last will and testament. So if something happens to one or both of you, exactly what do you want to have happen? Who’s to receive your assets? Who’s to take care of minor children? So that would be a big focus of what you need to consider.

But it’s not just financial, it’s things about your own burial wishes and things of that nature. Maybe you’ve got particular charitable causes that are near and dear to you, so you want to think about kind of a well-rounded consideration of what’s most important. The only way your wishes are going to be carried out is if they are actually in black and white, and you’ve done the planning, you’ve executed the will and things of that nature.

Talli Sperry: Yes, I want you to elaborate on that, Kevin, because sometimes we hear people say, “Well, I told my spouse. They know.” What’s the problem with that?

Kevin Wick: Well, the problem is that the spouse in that example doesn’t have to carry out what you’ve talked about. The only way for things to happen legally is for them to be in an enforceable document, like an executed last will and testament. Want to dot the I’s and cross the T’s and get it all done correctly.

Talli Sperry: Especially because emotions will come into play, and sometimes other players will come into play that will put pressure. We’ve seen that as well.

So let’s go back to our presubmitted questions. So this one is from James from New Hartford, Connecticut. And, Kevin, I guess you’re on the hot seat with this one again because he’s asking, “Can you explain what would happen to our investment portfolio in the event that my wife and I were to pass away at the same time?”

Kevin Wick: Certainly. The short answer to that is it depends, but it depends on a few things. One is the planning that you’ve done or haven’t done. If you and your partner have last will and testaments in place or a revocable living trust in place, then it’s going to follow the dictates of that document, and your assets are going to go on to those people that you wanted them to.

If you’ve done no planning, then we look to things like state law. Depending on where you live, generally speaking, it’ll probably go to your surviving family members. In this example, kids if there are any. If not, it would go on each spouse’s family line—we look to siblings and things of that nature. But that can start dealing in an area of uncertainty and, again, may not follow the wishes that you have, which again underscores the importance of taking the time, doing the planning, putting it down in black and white.

There’s some other elements along the lines of how is that account titled? Who owns it? Is it a joint registration or otherwise? So there’s a number of different factors, but all of them point back to: do the planning, set up the choices ahead of time, and know that you’ve got a good solid direction in place in writing.

Talli Sperry: And the advantage of having an advisor here could be helpful because if they have discretionary authority, they can execute those wishes for you, right?

Kevin Wick: Absolutely. It’s always good to have the help of a trusted advisor, and that’s something you can get here at Vanguard.

Talli Sperry: Great. So, Krysta, we have a live one for you. This is from Mark who’s asking, “One of the challenges is keeping the documentation up to date. Is there an easier way to do this?” I think we have heard this repeatedly.

Krysta Dos Santos: Yes, is there an easier way to do it, to keep things up to date? Well, I would say that if you’re doing this on a somewhat regular basis, it doesn’t get to this out-of-control point where it’s been decades. Sometimes we’ll hear people say, “Well, my trust is dated 1980 something. We haven’t looked at it since then,” and I would imagine your life has changed dramatically since then, right? And so if you were to do this every say 3–5 years, you won’t get into this snowball kind of a situation where it’s really kind of run away from you.

Talli Sperry: That’s good. I’ve heard some clients actually, bring out the documents every year and have a short, quick sheet to just make sure that they can go over it together twice a year, knowing that in the stress of unexpected events, emotions pop up, and it makes it hard to remember where things are.

Krysta Dos Santos: Great too.

Talli Sperry: I like your idea of regular cadence on redoing as well as talking too.

Kevin Wick: And that’s some great direction on sort of the legal document side of things. When it comes to your financial life, I think one of the resources we have in the widget is a financial inventory, and it’s a great way to summarize: Here’s the accounts that we have, here’s where they’re at, here’s the person to contact if something happens to one of us. So I’m just keeping kind of a short summary of the things that exist in your financial life to know. And so those who might step into your shoes, if you’re not able to or not here, know where to go and where to go looking.

Talli Sperry: Yes, and for our audience, I’ll just direct you to that green Resource widget. So the two items that Kevin was talking about are the Critical Financial Checklist and the Personal Financial Inventory. I think we all find these gold. They are invaluable, and we were talking before the webcast that we should probably all look at them more regularly for our own lives.

Louisa Guthrie: Yes, and we actually have a personal anecdote about that document inventory. We have a colleague who lost her mother very suddenly, and because that inventory had been kept—whereas it can take, you know, 6–9 months to execute on an estate—she had it done in two weeks. And it was because everything was there, understood, knew who to talk to, where to go. It was phenomenal.

Talli Sperry: And much less stressful than it would have been otherwise.

Louisa Guthrie: That’s right.

Talli Sperry: She was dealing with all those emotions. And when you get these growing to-do lists that never seem to end after 9 months, that’s hard.

Louisa Guthrie: That’s right.

Talli Sperry: Yes, good. So let’s jump back to some of the presubmitted questions. So this is from Mary Ellen from Albuquerque, New Mexico, so thank you Mary Ellen. She says, “I believe my husband is developing dementia. I’ve notified his physician and tests will be done,” so good first step. “We will see his stockbroker in November. What questions should I prepare for that meeting?” We actually get this call a lot. So, Louisa?

Louisa Guthrie: That’s a tough one, and having gone through Alzheimer’s with my father, I know exactly what I’m sure she’s going through.

Number one, the fact that she recognized it and is already taking steps is really incredible. Usually people put it off. They really don’t want to face it. And I don’t know where she is in the discussions with her husband, but bottom line the fact that some tests are going to be done and that she’s already thinking through the questions is great.

One of the things I would recommend is to immediately start talking to her advisors, even before sitting with the stockbroker. So if she’s working with an estate attorney (and if she’s not, I think she should) and an accountant and really understand what steps and documents she should be filling out. So there are powers of attorney that can protect him and her financially that will be really critical in a situation like this.

Talli Sperry: Yes, and this can be important to really wrap your arms around. We’ve seen situations where people haven’t dealt with this, and actually the spouse struggling with dementia has lost some significant dollars just through trading.

Kevin Wick: Yes, and I don’t want to make any assumptions here, but if Mary Ellen is the less-involved spouse, certainly she’s going to have a number of questions. And, again, kudos for taking the steps and being proactive about that.

But you’d certainly want to understand what the assets are and where they’re located. You want to have an understanding of what’s the estate plan we have in place. If something were to happen to her husband, how does her financial life look at that point in time? So those are all great steps to take. That information is going to be powerful for her at this crucial time in their lives, and so, again, great job in being proactive and taking action.

Talli Sperry: Kevin, is this something that Vanguard Personal Advisor Services® could help her think through?

Kevin Wick: Absolutely. We have financial advisors here in PAS that can walk you hand-in-hand through things like this and other life changes. It’s one of the great benefits of having a trusted advisor by your side.

Talli Sperry: Helpful, really helpful. All right, Krysta, this is for you, and this is from Jordan who’s saying, “I’m currently a single 23-year-old male, but I’m dating someone very seriously. What are some important questions or points to discuss with my future wife about planning our financial future together?”

So this is on a lot of people’s minds.

Krysta Dos Santos:. So young, I’m so glad they’re thinking of this ahead of time.

This is a really important one because I think we all know that the divorce rate in this country is really high, and a lot of times one of the biggest conflicts between couples is money. And so there’s a lot of resources, different websites and books I’ve seen with different questions, very specific questions you could ask a partner. Things like “At what dollar amount would you consult the other person before making a purchase?” And they’re a little bit specific and they’re a little bit of what-if scenarios.

But I would actually say let’s zoom out and talk bigger picture. What are some of the big goals that you have? What are some of the values that you share about money?

The other thing I would say is if you talk about money all of the time, and you always bring that partner along on this journey with you, they’ll never feel left behind and left out. And so it just becomes a topic that’s really normal and regular for you to talk about. In some families money is a bit taboo, and it’s a sore spot. And so if you just create this great habit now at this super young age, you’ll be in really good shape to have a great marriage with fewer problems.

Talli Sperry: Yes, that’s a nice idea to begin on the right foot there. Would you guys add anything as well?

Kevin Wick: Yes, I would say the flip side of that. Have discussions, how do you feel about debt? Yes, we talked about finances being a big burden on many married couples. Oftentimes, it’s related to spending and debt and things like that. How do you feel about credit cards, and how are we going to go about buying vehicles and just debt in general? Both sides of the ledger, financial ledger, if you will, come to some common ground on that.

Talli Sperry: Yes, that’s good. And then short-term and long-term savings, that’s another one we see pop up, perspectives there?

Louisa Guthrie: Joint accounts, individual accounts, do you save differently? It’s a huge conversation.

Krysta Dos Santos: We could probably do a webcast just on that topic alone.

Louisa Guthrie: We could, yes.

Talli Sperry: Hey, that’s a good future topic for us, actually. We do hear this a lot from clients.

All right, so, Kevin, we’ve got one for you. This is from Walter, and he’s saying, “Blended families offer especially difficult problems. What are some ideas for addressing this?”

Kevin Wick: I can relate. I have a blended family myself, and there are important considerations and questions to be answered. It underscores again the importance of communication. So you’ve got potentially differing interests on each side of the family. You know, maybe differing ages and kids, those sort of things. Expectations between the spouses is, I think, a crucial starting point and what they might desire for their own kids in the blended family scenario.

It’s not always going to be that everyone’s treated equally, and that can be okay. But if that’s the case, then talk about that, and make sure that’s understood. Inform each other and perhaps the family about the whys and the intentions that you have. But it does bring another dynamic—and, again, communication is going to be critically important. Having your wishes agreed upon and clearly set out again in writing is what’s going to help you at the end of the day.

Talli Sperry: Yes, and some of those questions that we were all just talking about apply to blended families too, right, because those same concerns can come up across the family.

So this is a live question. Louisa, I’m going to give this one to you. It’s from Eileen, and she’s asking, “How does one find a good financial advisor? I hate spending 1% of my assets because I have a large portfolio.”

Louisa Guthrie: Oh, that’s a great question. There are all sorts of tools out there that can help you interview advisors. But I think dealing with friends and family that you really are close to and depend upon and trust I think is another good way to go.

I will say that Vanguard has a number of tools and a way that you can figure out how to choose a financial advisor and how far you want to go. Some people want to manage the money on their own but still have some help on the side, and others want fully managed portfolios and advice, and we’ve got a range of options that we can help with.

But the bottom line is you’ve got to feel comfortable. There’s got to be a trust. There’s actually a statistic out there that doesn’t change year to year. And that is if you don’t have this wonderful relationship, we know that within a year of a woman losing her husband, she changes financial advisors because there was no relationship, there was no trust. So I would not hesitate from interviewing advisors, from actually having conversations with them, seeing how you feel about working with them, do you truly have a partner? That’s what you’re looking for. You’re looking for a partner.

Talli Sperry: Yes, and thankfully there are options less than 1%. I mean I know Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, significantly less than 1%.

Kevin Wick: About a third of that. What struck me is the fact that that individual, he or she knows what they’re paying—and it’s not uncommon in the financial industry to be less than transparent in what the fees and the costs are. So they know upfront what they are, and certainly anyone you’re talking to and interviewing, you want to be very clear and know what you’re paying and what you’re getting for what you’re paying. Vanguard certainly offers those services at a much lower cost than 1%, so at least investigate what we do here at Vanguard.

Talli Sperry: Yes, especially given that there’s the sliding scale. So the more you invest, the lower your costs will tend to be there.

All right, so let’s go back to presubmitted. Please keep those live questions coming. It’s fun to hear what’s on your mind, and you guys should really be driving the discussion because it’s for you.

So this one is from John from Portsmouth, Ohio, who’s asking, “What to do upon the death of the partner.” So Louisa?

Louisa Guthrie: Well, we’re really talking very similar things here. Actually, upon the death of your partner, it depends upon what kind of communication you’ve had. Has there been an estate plan put together? If there was one put together, but it’s been a while, you need to pull in an estate planning attorney to help you. You need to know if someone has been appointed executor. These are all the things that would be good for you to know before this happens. But upon the death of the partner or spouse, it’s really pulling on the resources that have been brought to bear and working with an advisor to help you through it if you don’t have an executor so that you know exactly what the steps are.

One of the things we found is often families have appointed a family member to be an executor of a will. I don’t think they understand what a huge responsibility that is, the amount of work involved.

Talli Sperry: And that person’s mourning too, potentially, right?

Louisa Guthrie: Exactly. And, again, sometimes they don’t even know that they were appointed executor until upon the death. So I would say one of the things is to have the conversation now so that upon the death of a partner, you know exactly what’s going to happen. You know what your role is, and you’re comfortable with it.

Talli Sperry: And that checklist that we have in the Resource List widget, that can guide us, right?

Louisa Guthrie: Absolutely.

Talli Sperry: Both in the to-dos as well as you can sit down and have that conversation with your partner regularly because as people evolve, then you can know if something has changed.

Louisa Guthrie: That’s right. That’s an excellent point. It is really a great discussion document to see how far you’ve gone and to make sure you check those off the list.

Talli Sperry: Yes.

Krysta Dos Santos: If you find yourself in that situation too, I think there is a certain element of needing to take the time to grieve, right, not making any sort of major decisions or major changes, let’s say, in the first year. And so giving yourself the time to say, “Okay, there’s a certain amount of decisions that have to take place right now, but there are some that don’t need to take place right now.” Give yourself that time and give yourself that freedom.

Talli Sperry: That’s important because we’ve had a number of clients that start to feel pressure from one direction or another, and they don’t necessarily know the life they want after, until they’ve had a little bit of time.

Krysta Dos Santos: Sure.

Kevin Wick: Yes, and if you’ve got the information, if you’ve had the conversation communication ahead of time, you can feel empowered to know, all right, things will be okay financially. Set that aside for a period of time and focus on the immediate things and mourning, as we said, the loss of a loved one and dealing with all of those emotions. And then when the time is right, come back and revisit the financial goals going forward.

Talli Sperry: I think you point out that it’s really an act of love and kindness to your spouse and to your family members to let them know that they would be okay if they will.

Louisa Guthrie: Peace of mind.

Krysta Dos Santos: There’s a group at Vanguard that handles death cases exclusively, and they are some of our most empathetic crew members. They are also highly skilled and trained to make this as easy as humanly possible because they really fully understand that full grieving process so they can work with you and make it really as simple as possible.

Talli Sperry: Yes, and for some resources on the preplanning, you’ll also see we have our Vanguard Family Legacy Services. So this new website just launched. We’re really excited about it, and it should give you some different things to think through, conversations to have, and just ways to process this information. So we’ve got a lot of resources from beginning to end for this dialogue, so it doesn’t end tonight. But please keep it coming. We’d love to hear more about your thoughts.

So this is a live question, and it’s from Timothy, and he’s asking, “So what are the specific things that you need to do to prepare your spouse?” So I think you can each take this from your angle. Maybe we’ll just make it a roundtable and start with Kevin. Specific things to prepare your spouse.

Kevin Wick: Goals. Common goals between both spouses, both partners. It doesn’t have to be a long list. Two, three, four, most important goals and think about a timeline in which you want achieve them. Those can be all financial goals, or they might be financial and otherwise establishing or reestablishing an estate plan, things of that nature. But together, come together on a few areas and then set a timeline for accomplishing those goals.

Talli Sperry: Great.

Louisa Guthrie: And I would say be really open with each and actually ask the difficult question, “If I were to die, what do you want to do with the money? How do you want to take care of the children, the next generation, the grandchildren? What are your priorities?” And then shift and make sure that both of you are being very honest because sometimes, it’s going to be a very different world that each of you want afterwards. And you have to have that conversation so that you’re aligned with at least how that person is going to be taken care of and be able to move forward upon your death.

Talli Sperry: Yes, because you can’t really control it from the grave even though we sometimes see clients trying, and what they do is just alienate their family amidst that.

Louisa Guthrie: Yes.

Krysta Dos Santos: I would say specifically what you could do is try to simplify. And one way to simplify is ask yourself where? Where are some of these documents? Some things they are obvious like your will and trust, but also where are your accounts held and where are your marriage certificates, your birth certificates, where are all of these items? That they’re centralized in one simple place so that someone could go there and say, “I have this roadmap in my hands.”

Talli Sperry: Yes, that’s helpful.

Louisa Guthrie: And that’s where that document inventory is perfect, because all of it should be there.

Talli Sperry: And I think you told a story before the webcast that made me realize knowing where it is and making sure everyone can have access to it is really helpful. Do you want to elaborate on that?

Krysta Dos Santos: Sure. I have a family where, like a lot of families, there’s one person that’s the decision-maker that’s done everything. He’s done beautiful, perfect planning. And he had it all packaged together beautifully. The wife put it in the safe. She passed away not having shared the combination for that safe. And so it was just one of these things where you think that you’re prepared and you’ve done all your things, but it’s just one last tiny detail that you just need to keep in mind.

Talli Sperry: So back to our checklist. I think I’m going to be using that one.

Krysta Dos Santos: That’s right!

Talli Sperry: All right, good. So we’ll go to presubmitted questions now. So we have Winston from Fairbanks, Arkansas, who’s asking, “How important is it to educate your children on your estate plan?” So we hear this one all the time. Kevin, you want to take it from your perspective?

Kevin Wick: Yes. I work with clients on estate planning issues all the time, and I’ve seen it from the planning stage to the final administration of things after clients have passed away. And the short answer would be yes, it’s very important. Again, going back to the idea that information, knowledge is power. And with that in hand, the next generation, a surviving spouse, whomever it is can act with that information in hand. Without it, oftentimes they feel paralyzed and don’t know what the plan was, what he or she would’ve wanted, and things of that nature.

It’s a difficult topic, admittedly, for clients to address. Clients with significant wealth are concerned about sharing too much information. Is this going to keep my kids from being interested in going out and making their own way in the world because they stand to inherit something significant?

That communication, that sharing doesn’t have to come down to the account statements and the numbers, the dollars and cents at the end of the day. Start with things like what’s most important, the values, the kinds of things that you’ve done in your life to perhaps earn and save and invest over a long period of time and what you’d want to see happen with that. Sharing the information, again, all of that is going to be powerful.

So long way, again, of saying yes, it’s absolutely important for those and certainly other reasons as well.

Talli Sperry: Good. I think I’m going to ask a follow-up question. And, Krysta, I’m going to send this one to you. This is from BJ who’s saying, “How do I talk to my partner and how could we have a conversation about wealth with our children? How do we start that conversation?” So you hear that one all the time from your clients.

Krysta Dos Santos: All the time. And back to Kevin’s point of how  you don’t want to share too much and disincentivize your children, but if you do have the opportunity to have some transparency, then that would be a good idea if you feel like they’re prepared to hear that kind of a number. But if not, just to start the conversation is to just let them know that at least there’s a responsibility coming down the pike, and it’s coming their way and asking how they feel about it.

And what really impresses me when I work with them—we call them the next generations, sort of G1 or G2, which is one of the terms that we use here in the office. But when you work with them, what your children will surprise you with is how badly they want to make you happy and rise to this occasion. They want to get this right for you. And so I think that if you know that you’re coming from this good angle and your children as well want to make this right for you, it’s a winning combination.

Talli Sperry: That’s good. Louisa, anything to add from your experiences?

Louisa Guthrie: Oh I completely agree. And I guess every family dynamic is different. There’s no question. And you know your children and your grandchildren better than anyone. But I believe in transparency. I think we’ve seen enough situations where the adult children did not know the extent of the wealth and didn’t have a chance to lay into how they would like to involve themselves in charitable intents along with their parents. There’s resentment sometimes. You didn’t feel that I was old enough to be able to share with me that this is the kind of responsibility we have as a family? And then family legacy. How do you want a very significant family to be remembered? That is something that actually the adult children would really like to play a role in.

Talli Sperry: And they’d like to learn from their parent too. So that trusted conversation.

Louisa Guthrie: Yes.

Talli Sperry: Good. So this is from Jerry and Susan. So kudos to both of you for doing this together tonight. That’s exactly what we’re going for partners talking. So wonderful to see.

Kevin Wick: Great.

Talli Sperry: Jerry’s asking, “My wife is an English teacher and I’m a CPA. How can we train her?” So I think he’s asking how do we get his wife up to speed when her skillset and her gifts are a little bit different? So Krysta, maybe you can start to talk about some of the ways you got up to speed when you made your transition.

Krysta Dos Santos: Yes, this is a great one. And, actually, I’m looking on the table. We have the book, it’s written by our founder, John Bogle.

Talli Sperry: One of my favorites. It’s how I learned.

Krysta Dos Santos: It’s called, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. It was one of my very first books. But start really simple. I’ve also seen a really great example of a mother/daughter that started tackling some questions together. Or you could find a friend that’s maybe in the same boat of just starting out. And then I would also say think about how you like to learn. Some people want to watch a webcast or a listen to a podcast. It’s all different, but I would say start with maybe just learning the vocabulary, because I think people get frustrated and give up and exit the conversation because there’s just vernacular that they don’t use every day and then they’re lost. And that’s not fun for anybody. I can imagine why that wouldn’t be fun.

Talli Sperry: I think our Family Legacy Services link can help as well because there’s lots of good conversation starters there. And you kind of just gave me an idea. You know, a lot of people have those, you know, throw questions in a bowl and draw them out at the dinner table. No reason why you can’t make them financial questions, right? Learn this road together.

Krysta Dos Santos: That’s right.

Kevin Wick: And I would just say, you know, have realistic expectations. If you’ve got one who’s a CPA, another one who’s teaching for a living, then she might not get to his level as someone who’s sort of doing it every day. But find small steps to take,, small paces to get to a point where you feel more comfortable than you were previously. We’re not suggesting here tonight that everyone has to be on the same page and the same level of acumen in every relationship, but it’s about taking measured steps to have a greater understanding and, again, some common goals together as a couple.

Louisa Guthrie: I think another basic way to start is to take a look at the account statements. So there’re a series of investment statements possibly the couple has—banking statements, even credit, even looking at mortgage statements, etc.—and understanding how it all intertwines. And if you’ve got a really good advisor, scheduling time with the advisor and sitting down and asking basic questions going over the account statement, “Why do we choose that stock? Why do we choose that fund? Why are we going in that direction?” I think that’s just a very nice way to start at a very elementary level.

Talli Sperry: Being curious is always a good thing, which is, I think, what you’re getting at. Just ask what’s on your mind.

Kevin, I think you made an important point about how we don’t have to be at the level of someone who’s a CPA to do this well. I think some investors have a lot of financial acumen and some people have their niche areas, but we have seen people actually do this incredibly well with just a base amount of knowledge like from this book, and become very successful ultra-high-net-worth clients. So I think that’s really a good point to understand.

Kevin Wick: In many successful families, there a role that each individual plays. And it’s not, again, not always coequal roles in terms of knowledge and acumen, but get to a place where you have an understanding. And if you’re disinterested to the point where I don’t want to learn all the ins and outs of why we chose a particular investment, just understand, at the very least, who to go to. If you have questions, know who to trust, who to work with so that if something does happen, you know where to get good help along the way. Again, just incremental steps that will you succeed over time.

Talli Sperry: Yes. And to remember it’s doable, right?

Kevin Wick: Absolutely.

Talli Sperry: Absolutely doable to get this stuff down.

So we’ve got three live questions, so keep them coming. This is our favorite. So we have George asking, “Should documents be kept in a safety deposit box in a bank or in a fireproof safe in your home?” Krysta, what do you see from your clients?

Krysta Dos Santos: Oh, normally I do see it’s something in their home. But, actually, maybe the bank is the good option because of what I had mentioned earlier—at least with the bank you have the option of somebody that is going to have the combination for you. But either way, that is a good best practice, especially in light of the amount of information that might be in there is incredibly sensitive, so it does need to be locked. Absolutely.

Talli Sperry: And there’s also the value of multiple copies in different places, right, for the just-in-case scenarios. Anything else the two of you have?

Kevin Wick: You’d certainly want to make sure that those who you’ve entrusted (an executor or trustee) to step in your shoes when you’re no longer here knows where they are so they’re not going hunting from bank to bank and corner to corner.

And a little issue that I’ve seen in the past with safe deposit box is understanding how that account—and a safe deposit box is an account at the end of the day—how it’s titled. How it’s titled will drive who can actually access that or how it’s accessed when someone passes away. If it’s joint between spouses, then you have a surviving spouse, no issue. If it’s in one person’s name and they pass away, then there may be a period of time before someone can legally access a safe deposit box. So you just want to have that conversation with your bank, your financial institution to understand those implications.

Talli Sperry: Yes, really important.


Louisa Guthrie: And I’ll throw one outlier out there. Some of the younger generation are using electronic document storage, and they are secure vaults depending upon the provider. And that is where some people are keeping completely electronic statements with access authorized depending upon how that access key is used. So I’ve seen that used very, very successfully and by multiple family members who can access the same documents.

Talli Sperry: And I think what you point out about making sure it’s a secure provider is very important.

Louisa Guthrie: Right. Right.

Talli Sperry: But, yes, a totally new solution.

We’re getting some questions asking to see the cover of the book. So this is the Little Book of Common Sense Investing, and it’s by Vanguard’s founder, Jack Bogle. And it’s just a lot of really good insights, little nuggets about how to get started and the baselines that you need to understand to just start to keep track of all of these topics that we’re covering. So it’s a good resource.

Kevin Wick: Great foundation.

Talli Sperry: Yes, really is.

Louisa Guthrie: And he did believe that everybody could learn and manage their own investments. And that was a real key for him.

Talli Sperry: Yes, absolutely. We saw that every day he was on campus for sure.

Kevin Wick: Another testament that it is doable.

Talli Sperry: Totally. All right, good. So Greg is asking, “We keep our beneficiary designations up to date. Is there anything else we need to do to get our Vanguard assets transferred? How long will it take for those assets to transfer to our beneficiary?” So a pretty technical question here.

Kevin Wick: When an account owner passes away, in order for Vanguard to act on a beneficiary designation, we need to have a certified copy of that individual’s death certificate. That’s probably the main timing issue because how long it takes to get that official document is going to vary, from state to state and maybe even more so than that. But once Vanguard has the documents that are needed, then that can be something that’s processed in relatively short order. Krysta spoke about the great crew that we have that’s in charge of those kinds of transfers and conversations. They’re terrific at walking you through the process and setting those expectations of a timeline. But that first step is something that’s really out of our control. You’re typically dealing with maybe a government agency who’s actually issuing at the end of the day and that’s going to drive the majority of the timeline.

Talli Sperry: All right, so Rajita is asking, “For the purpose of asset transfers, would you recommend consolidating assets with one institution or is it okay to have multiple institutions to benefit from different perspectives?”

Kevin Wick:  I can chime in on that as well. I think, certainly, from a pure standpoint of getting assets from a deceased individual to their chosen beneficiaries, it probably doesn’t matter whether it’s one account or it’s ten accounts. I think practically I’ve seen with clients is over time, they prefer to simplify their financial lives and have those probably at one or two institutions. And if you think about what you’re asking for your heirs to do after you’ve passed away, you’re also simplifying their work.

But practically speaking, again, if it’s multiple accounts, those can be dealt with. It might take a little more time, a little more effort. But if you think about in your hands as you get older and maybe don’t want to spend as much time dealing with multiple accounts, then consolidation, simplification makes a lot of sense and it can have benefits for the next generation also.

Talli Sperry: Especially because you don’t have to force your significant other to have the same conversation with different providers.

Krysta Dos Santos: A hard conversation multiple times, yes. A trend that I see in the field is that as people who grew up during the depression have passed on, they didn’t have a lot of trust in the financial systems because of the way they were raised. And they have money at so many institutions and under their mattress and I heard even a story of under the refrigerator once. And you just can’t believe what you hear. But it’s been the baby boomers’ responsibility to unwind that and find these things. And some have even gone to escheatment, which is what happens when people have unclaimed property, and that’s how they become aware of these accounts that their parents had everywhere.

And once the baby boomers have gone through that, I am seeing this great trend. It’s a shame that they have to go through this, but it’s put them in a position where they’ll say, “I will never do this to my children.”

Kevin Wick: Sometimes the lesson is learned after you’ve experienced it yourself.

Krysta Dos Santos: Yes.

Kevin Wick: And you realize that’s enough to know, hey, I can do this better or differently.

Louisa Guthrie: I was just going to say from an investment perspective, in the old days it was, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” And, frankly, Vanguard’s investment objective is to make sure that you’re diversified so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket and yet you’ve got one place that does simplify it. And just having one institution that’s overseeing your assets and your performance and all the rest of it, all of it I think is simplified if it’s in one place. But, again, it’s personal preference.

Talli Sperry: Yes. Well said. All right, so this one is from William, and he’s asking, “Can Vanguard be named as a trustee or co-trustee?” So Kevin.

Kevin Wick: Short answer is yes. Vanguard offers trustee services through Vanguard National Trust Company, which is our nationwide trust company. It can be either sole trustee or co-trustee. Co-trustee would be Vanguard serving alongside oftentimes another individual. Maybe it’s a family member, a surviving spouse, a child, whatever the case might be. But we absolutely offer those services.

It’s interesting when I came to Vanguard, I wasn’t aware that service was offered. We don’t do a great job of always advertising everything that we offer, but it’s something that was developed at the request basically of our clients saying, “Vanguard, I really want your help for my kids, my spouse.” And so it was sort of at that behest that we went on and developed that, and we’ve been doing it for about 20–25 years. And a lot of our clients take advantage of that service. All the reasons why you’re with Vanguard today carries forward in our trustee services as well from investments all the way up through a trust administration.

Talli Sperry: Yes. Great. All right, so this one is from Honor from Boca Raton, Florida who’s asking, “Should children be advised ahead of time on the level of wealth parents have, meaning prior to the death of one or both parents?” So, Honor, we hear this one very often. Louisa, from your expertise, could you share the answers?

Louisa Guthrie: And we sort of touched upon this a little bit earlier about the transparency and how every family’s different. But I think the more adult children in particular know about the size of the wealth and what the parents’ intents are and how to make it a family decision about how things are done, I think the better, frankly. I really do.

Talli Sperry: Yes. Can you define adult children because I’ve heard parents define that anywhere from like 18 to 52, you know.

Kevin Wick: Age appropriate depending on your own kids. I mean probably something you wouldn’t share with an 18-year-old necessarily. I think in my years of experience, I find as kids are out of college and starting their first job, making a career, making some of these financial decisions for themselves (on a smaller scale admittedly) but they start kind of understanding the bigger picture and the broader world out there. That can be an appropriate time to start having those conversations. Certainly as kids are well into their 40s, 50s, and whatnot, you would expect them to be able to handle that information very well. But age appropriate and family appropriate, no question about that. And that’ll be different from family to family.

Krysta Dos Santos: I’ve seen children appreciate hearing the why behind certain decisions were made so they’re not left in the dark. So to say, “These two children will not be treated equally.” Maybe one was tremendously successful in their career and they just don’t need that large of an inheritance, and so you don’t want that child to ever feel snubbed like they were overlooked or forgotten or that they weren’t the favorite so to speak. So just to put it out there to say the why behind your choices. That people always just feel at peace during a difficult time and they understand what the intent was because sometimes when you read these legal documents, they are quite technical. And to hear the heart behind it and the why I think that’s important.

Talli Sperry: That can be very important, especially to keeping those sibling relationships after the death of one parent, right?

Krysta Dos Santos: Yes.

Louisa Guthrie: And that’s where the resentment can come in if they find out after the deaths how things were allotted, and they wouldn’t understand the rationale behind it. And I will say, I think we can’t say enough, it’s never too early to educate on financial matters. I mean that should start almost day one, allowances and things like that. But I will say I have known some families of significant wealth where they have brought younger children in, but it depends upon the family and it also depends upon the generational wealth that’s in that family.

So some of the larger families that have been around for that third, fourth generation, they’ve created an entire educational system for how kids at a very young age are brought in and understand the responsibility of the family wealth.

Talli Sperry: Yes. And understand it from the length of the family mission, right?

Louisa Guthrie: Yes.

Talli Sperry: Good. We’re often seeing clients start to do letters of intent now too. Krysta, I know you’ve had a few clients do those. Do you want to explain what those are and how those could help here?

Krysta Dos Santos: Sure. And I’m going to have Kevin help me out here too. But letters of intent are not legal documents, but they are something that you would overlay your trust with. And it’s going to be written in plain English that says, “These are some of my hopes.”

So, for instance, someone might write, “I want to fund education. And what I mean by that is I want to pay for your room, your board, everything. I want you to focus on your schooling. I don’t want you to get a part-time job while you’re working.” But then they can carve out and say, “But I don’t want someone to be a career student where they’re never joining the workforce and becoming a productive member of society.” So they can really just put it into plain English. It could be about different cars or different expectations they have for spending too and they can just say, “This is something I have considered with a lot of thought. It’s very important to me. I understand it’s not in the actual legal document, but I hope that whoever is my successor trustee will read this and honor this and know what my intentions were.”

Talli Sperry: Yes, that’s a great summary.

Kevin Wick: Yes, that’s a great point of emphasis. It’s a valuable tool, but it’s not legally enforceable. When I talked about putting things in black and white earlier—your will, your trust—those are things that will be legally enforceable and admittedly myself and my fellow attorney colleagues out there, we’re not always the greatest at drafting legal documents in plain English. We freely admit that.

But the letter of intent is a terrific way, as Krysta described, of getting those whys down, those thoughts and goals and objectives, so that others can understand. And when you think about someone serving later on as a trustee, a co-trustee, that information can help empower them, whether it’s a child, whether it’s Vanguard or otherwise, to make decisions based on what the, parents, for instance, might have wanted along the way. That information can help future administrators carry out your wishes as well.

Louisa Guthrie: Talli, could I ask a follow-up question because I think it might be helpful for the listening group? Why would someone do a letter of intent as opposed to incorporating it in a legal document?

Kevin Wick: You certainly could. I think I found practically speaking, not every attorney is comfortable in doing that because the idea of a letter of intent is more of my wishes.

Louisa Guthrie: Guidelines, guidelines.

Kevin Wick: And it’s a guideline. And if you’re asking for an actual directive, then that’s something very different if that’s incorporated in your will or trust, so it serves a different purpose. It’s just kind of reflecting on that reality and addressing it in that fashion, but is very effective. And it doesn’t have to be anything really formal. It’s not like you need a form to follow for a letter of intent. It can be even in your own handwriting, just “here’s why, here’s what’s important to me. Here’s my hopes for my kids, my grandchildren.” All of that is very valuable and intangible but carries a lot of value, especially over time.

Talli Sperry: Yes, and you keep that communication going even beyond.

Louisa Guthrie: And it’s helpful to define why you use one over the other.

Talli Sperry: Yes, I think that’s really important. So we have a follow-up question for Kevin, which is from Timothy. And he’s asking, “Can Vanguard’s trust company also be appointed as a successor trustee?”

Kevin Wick: Yes. And so a successor trustee is typically going to be someone who is stepping in at a later point in time. In most cases—if we’re talking about partners or spouses in the context of our discussion here tonight—then one spouse or partner passes away, typically the survivor is going to continue on as a trustee. But then when that second individual passes away, then you need someone to succeed them.. And that’s the idea of a successor. That can be Vanguard, it can be another family member, another trusted advisor. But, yes, Vanguard offers that service in which we would be acting at a later date.

Talli Sperry: Great. So I think I’m going to jump to one of our presubmitted questions. And this is from Chandra, and she’s asking, “How can Vanguard help?” So maybe, Krysta, we’ll start with you, but we’ll keep on the same theme.

Krysta Dos Santos: Sure. So I would encourage you to call Vanguard and work with your representative there because they are prepared for these types of calls. And they might direct you to a lot of the different resources that are on our website because we have articles, we have webcasts like this, we have the short clips, we have all sorts of different things they can point you to. And they’re really experts on all the different things that are out there for you. And then this way you would get something a little more specific to you and your family because in this webcast, we’re talking more generally. But you could share the specifics of your situation and they could get you the things that work just right for you.

Talli Sperry: Great tip.

Louisa Guthrie: And I think in talking to your representative, Kevin said it very well, we don’t do advertising. Vanguard doesn’t do advertising. So a lot of people don’t know we’ve got a family legacy service. We’ve got a family office offering. We have managed investment advice. We’ve got financial planners, we’ve got trust and estate services, and then we’ve got, for the self-directed investor, all the tools that you spoke about. I mean so really, it’s really getting a window into Vanguard by talking to your relationship manager and really getting a full panoply of what we can offer.

Talli Sperry: Great. Good.

Kevin Wick: Yes. And I would just highlight our advice offer as well. I think we at Vanguard think there’s probably in many cases, most cases there’s going to be a need for advice at some point in your financial life. And that may be sooner, that may be later, but Vanguard as a trusted advisor. I work with many of our advisors and our trust officers, and they do a terrific job of customizing what the need of the client is. And so that’s a service available here.

Talli Sperry: Yes, we really believe in seeing the person.

I just want to read this quote from Rickie, and I think this is very moving and exactly why we’re here today, so thank you for sharing. She’s saying, “I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for this important discussion. As a longtime Vanguard investor, I recently lost my husband who principally handled our finances. Although I had a good foundation from him, I could never have gotten through this difficult time without the help and support I received from Vanguard. Every person I dealt with and continue to deal with at Vanguard has been professional, knowledgeable, and understanding. Kudos to Vanguard.”

And Rickie, first of all, our condolences. We’re so sorry you’ve gone through that experience, but kudos to you for all that it seems like you’re managing and moving through. Do you guys see this as a very common scenario?

Louisa Guthrie: Yes.

Talli Sperry: Rickie’s not alone, right?

Kevin Wick: Absolutely. And, honestly, that’s why we’re here tonight. That’s why we come to work every day is to help our clients. To have that kind of impact on a client’s life means the world to us. And so thank you for those words, Rickie, and it’s certainly our honor to be able to help and serve our clients in that way.

Talli Sperry: Yes, definitely. All right, so now I’d like to turn to our panel for some final thoughts on our conversation. So what important tidbits would you like to leave our audience with? This has been a rich and meaningful discussion for sure.

Krysta Dos Santos: I think what I would say is I hope you leave here tonight feeling empowered that you can do this. I think that there is this feeling of there is some complexity here and some confusion. But if you can break through that, there’s some clarity and confidence. And I think that clients that might be doubting themselves or wondering if they can get there, they can.

Talli Sperry: Well said.

Louisa Guthrie: I think, number one, making sure that you feel comfortable calling your financial partner here at Vanguard and, also, I want to direct them back to the checklist because it truly is a path to making sure you’ve covered the gamut. And, thirdly, communication. Just have these discussions. They’re not easy discussions, but you really have to have them. You just do.

Talli Sperry: And the more you have them the easier they get.

Kevin Wick: Yes. Hopefully, we’ve hit that enough to open people’s eyes as to the importance of communicating on these important topics and knowing that you’ve got a trusted help advisor here in Vanguard. And take the time to find some little nugget from tonight’s discussion that you can take action on and move forward.

We recognize that we’ve talked about a lot of things that are often difficult to move forward on and take action on, but take one little step and go from there.

Talli Sperry: Yes, just get curious, right?

Louisa Guthrie: Yes.

Talli Sperry: So we’ve had a really enlightening discussion tonight, and we’ve covered a lot of ground. So thank you to my guests for being with us and for sharing your expertise. What a joy to have this conversation with you.

And thank you to the members of the Vanguard community and those of you who may be new to our webcast for joining us tonight.

If you feel like you missed a key point and wish you could rewatch a certain part of tonight’s webcast, I know I do, so don’t worry. We’ll send you an email with a link to our webcast library where you can view a replay of tonight’s webcast and also find links to our other webcasts with transcripts included for your convenience.

And as I mentioned earlier, we’ve just launched our new Vanguard Family Legacy Services website on That’s also in your Resource List widget, and you can click there for the link. We’ll also send you details in an email.

We’re so glad you spend your evening with us, and we sincerely hope you benefited from the program.

We really do value your feedback on tonight’s webcast, and we welcome your suggestions for future topics that you’d like us to cover. I think we found one earlier, so please keep those suggestions coming. We’d be grateful if you would select the red Survey widget. It’s the second from the right at the bottom of your screen and give us your feedback.

We here at Vanguard encourage you to continue the conversation with the Vanguard community on our social channels and on Twitter by going to @vanguard_group.

On behalf of Louisa, Kevin, and Krysta, and all of us here at Vanguard, thank you and good night.


Important Information

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

This webcast is for educational purposes only and does not take into consideration your specific circumstances or other factors that may be important in making investment decisions. We recommend that you consult a tax or financial advisor about your individual situation.

Advice services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc., a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company, a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company.

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