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Unfortunately, life does not always go the way we plan, life can sometimes take a completely unexpected and devastating turn. Of course our first thought, when confronted with such a dilemma, is the financial well-being of those we love and the reality of what will happen after you are gone.

Elliot Watson Financial Planning can help to implement strategies to support you and your family, both at the time of diagnosis of a terminal illness, and after you are gone.

Case Study

John and Kathleen, both in their early 50’s, married for over 25 years, raised a family of three children who are now grown up and in the process of finishing their degrees and beginning their careers.

Unfortunately, John was diagnosed with a life threatening illness – leukaemia. John fought hard for seven long years to beat the illness. However, in 2015 the cancer returned and was on this occasion diagnosed as terminal with an average life expectancy of 9 months. Due to the severity of the illness every day was a blessing as things could change very quickly.

In his final months John was concerned for Kathleen and his family. He wanted to ensure his financial affairs were in order and that his family was provided for after he left.


  • Provide for his family.
  • Make sure everything is taken care of.
  • To leave a legacy.

The Challenge

  • The time frame was extremely short
  • Things can change quickly with little notice.

How Did Elliot Watson Financial Planning Help?

John had a superannuation fund and a life insurance policy.

As his condition was terminal, a number of strategic possibilities that could be implemented became available. While there was a unique window of opportunity to assist John and his family, the short time frame to implement the strategies presented significant obstacles.

We acted immediately. We submitted a claim on the life insurance policy under the definition of terminal illness. Dealing, in such a short time frame, with the requisite administrative processes, required both a ‘hands-on’ and facilitation approach. The task of navigating the process was complex and daunting and included negotiations with key stakeholders in the insurance industry essential to the timely finalisation of the claim. The advisers knowledge, along with his determination to achieve the right outcome for his client, meant the claim was successful.

Changes were made to the superannuation portfolio to allow the liquidity and flexibility necessary to implement the remaining crucial parts of the strategy. This included significant taxation minimisation strategies essential for Kathleen’s future financial well-being.

However, before the process could be completed, John took a turn for the worse. But we needed more time – time John didn’t have – for the strategy to be properly implemented. So John and Kathleen’s adviser went to work; ‘…he ‘moved heaven and earth to do what needed to be done…’. Within a small time-frame (only three days) he achieved what would usually have taken over a week.

Value of Advice

As a result of the fortitude and persistence of their adviser, immediate capital relief to meet imminent and subsequent expenses became available, and a regular tax effective, income stream was implemented for Kathleen, after John’s passing. The strategies we implemented will also benefit John and Kathleen’s children in the future.

Most importantly, it gave John peace of mind knowing that his family would be looked after.

Client Review

“Hi Elliot,

I met you at my father’s memorial yesterday. At the time I didn’t actually know who you were as usually I don’t talk to my family much about financial matters. After talking with my Mum yesterday I understand a little more about how you have helped out my family recently.

I just wanted to thank you for coming to the memorial and for everything you’ve done for my family during this difficult period. I wholeheartedly appreciate all the effort and time you have put into helping Mum and Dad especially during the last two weeks. I know my siblings feel the same way.

Thank you. Yours sincerely, (son)”

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