2019 First Quarter Investment Market Report
April 10, 2019

Estate Planning – For the Inexperienced

Married Couples Should…

Take Key Steps Review Accounts and Assets

– Hire an estate attorney. They will aid in drafting and updating wills.

– Build a relationship with a financial advisor both you and your spouse have confidence in.

-Ensure each spouse gives executor permission to manage assets

-Set up bank and other financial accounts a surviving spouse may need immediate access to in both spouse’s name or as ‘transferable on death’.

-This is important because some types of accounts in one spouse’s name alone tyically go through probate and may not be immediately accessible.

-When the first spouse dies, his or her estate is required to use assets held in the deceased spouse’s name alone to settle his or her debt.

-Assets held jointly or in survivor’s name alone are protected from debt collection.

A Surviving Spouse Should…

Take Key StepsLocate Accounts and Assets
– Order a minimum of 15 copies of the death certificate to use to re-title financial accounts.

-Contact the estate attorney, accountant, and financial advisor.

-Gather all household financial statements.

-Retrieve electronic statements from the deceased spouse’s email account.

-Start the probate process by having the executor submit the death certificate and any existing wills to the court.

-File with Social Security for a $225 death benefit.

-Consult with your financial advisor about claiming monthly Social Security survivor benefits.

-Re-title household bills in your name.

-Change beneficiaries on your retirement or other accounts if necessary.

-Update your will as needed.

-Create a new financial plan with your advisor so that you can better understand what you own and owe. This will aid in making better long-term decisions.
-Call the deceased spouse’s employer, if he or she was working. If so, inquire about 401(k), pension, stock options, life insurance, and the cost to continue health coverage under the company plan.

-Present the death certificate and proof of identity to gain access to deceased spouses’s IRAs, 401(k)s, and life insurance.

-Look for statements in the mail for accounts that don’t traditionally show up on tax returns, such as, pensions, IRAs, annuities, and 401(k)s no one is contributing to or taking withdrawals from.

-Ask for free help if you believe your spouse was entitled to a pension from a company you are unable to locate. Sources include the Labor Department and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

-Search for missing life insurance and annuity contracts in the “Life Insurance Policy Locator Service” sponsored by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or in your state’s unclaimed property fund.

Source – “Moving Forward On Your Own: A Financial Guidebook for Widows”, Kathleen Rehl

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Mark Shone CFPMark Shone, CFP

Phone: 925.472.0874
Mobile: 925-209-3771
Fax: 925-472-0884
E-mail: mshone@shoneassetmgmt.com

Mark Shone, CFP®, founder of Shone Asset Management LLC, is responsible for all aspects of Financial Planning and Asset Management at Shone Asset Management and works directly with clients of the firm. He has been in the business since 1988 and founded the firm in 2005 as a fee only financial planning and asset management business. Prior to founding Shone Asset Management, he was a Managing Director and Neuberger Berman and Lehman Brothers. Mark has a degree in Finance from California State University, Sacramento, competed his certificate in taxation at UCLA and completed a course of study at the Wharton School.

Mark enjoys helping families and clients map out the financial life they want to create and helping them by making smart decisions over time. He has extensive experience speaking on and guiding clients through topics such as retirement planning, preparing for the cost of education, investment allocation strategies, estate planning topics, insurance and behavioral finance. He is committed to helping clients maximize their full wealth potential.

In his spare time Mark enjoys golfing, is an avid sports fan and is a drummer for the band Stagefrite which plays cover songs from the 80’s to today.


Gail Markham

Director of Client Service

Gail has worked in the Financial Services industry since 1983; as a Bank Manager, and as an Investment Advisor as well as Compliance Manager for major Wall Street firms.  She is a graduate of the University of the Pacific.

Gail is a long time resident of the East Bay.  She lives in Walnut Creek with Will, her husband of 26 years.  She has two children, Jack & Kelly who are college students.

Gail enjoys golf, hiking, traveling, gardening, wine and college basketball.


Griffin Daniel Sheehy

I came on board with Shone Asset Management in 2016 and as Financial Associate, I provide support in the areas of investment planning, financial planning, and portfolio management. I am a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Orfalea College of Business where I earned a Bachelor of Science of Quantitative Economics concentrated in Financial Management. Post-graduation, I went straight to work for Waddell & Reed, which is a large advisory firm that specializes in financial and investment planning. I started there in an assistant-type role until earning my Series 7 and Series 66 licenses and at that time promptly transitioned into an Advisor Associate role. Having those licenses allowed me to not only engage in full support on the client servicing side, but in the financial and investment planning process as well. This is where I learned just how critical developing, implementing, and constantly reviewing a solid all around plan is to the success of one’s financial goals. While in college, I interned at Northwestern Mutual in Sacramento where I earned my Insurance License and was educated in the value of managing the risk of unforeseen events in life. I also interned at a small commodities market research firm based in Petaluma, California called Streetwise Reports.

I am married and in my free time I enjoy outdoor activities with my beautiful wife like taking beach trips and hiking. I also enjoy playing sports in local leagues for baseball and basketball.