The Triangle of Support: How Advisors Collaborate to Help Aging Clients

When financial, legal, and medical advisors work together, their clients benefit.

As a health advisor, I often work closely with wealth advisors and attorneys to help clients get the best possible care. I recently participated in a presentation for family offices in which I spoke alongside a wealth advisor and a lawyer about the “triangle of support” that financial, legal, and medical advisors provide.

What is the triangle of support?

Here’s how Rachel Hyman, President of the Family Wealth Alliance explains it:

"Collaboration among financial, legal, and medical advisors is key to providing the highest level of care for clients. The triangle of support represents the synergy between the patient's wealth advisor, legal advisor, and health advisor, working together to address the intricacies of aging and healthcare. This collaborative approach ensures that clients receive the integrated support necessary to navigate complex situations effectively.’"

How does the triangle of support benefit clients?

As people age, their healthcare needs often become more complex. Serious health issues have financial and legal complications, especially as the patient approaches the end of their life.

The triangle of support is a collaboration between the patient’s wealth advisor, legal advisor, and health advisor.

  • The wealth advisor knows what resources are available and helps the client make informed financial decisions.
  • The attorney handles trusts, estates, wills, and other legal documents that become even more important as clients age. 
  • The health advisor navigates the client's healthcare needs as they change over time.

It makes sense for these individuals to work together, because health, wealth, and legal issues are often intermingled. These experts are stronger as a team, and they can communicate directly when the patient or their family needs additional support.

For example, when a client is making long-term care arrangements, their considerations are likely to include both the cost and the quality of care. If their wealth advisor and health advisor communicate, they’ll be able to make informed decisions.

When is the right time to build these relationships?

It’s never too early to put your support team together. Just as it’s essential for people to have financial plans in place as they age, it makes sense to set up a thorough healthcare plan — even if you are currently in good health.

When your legal and wealth advisors have a relationship with your health advisor, they can easily raise concerns.  For example, if they notice that the client’s behavior has changed or that they are showing signs of a health issue, they can bring that to the health advisor’s attention.

At the same time, when your family’s health advisor is in touch with your legal advisor, wealth advisor, and other members of your family office, they can be more useful to you in a crisis.

For example, when a loved one dies, the family will be grieving. They may not feel capable of handling the pressing administrative tasks associated with the death. Their advisors can work together to manage these things on their behalf.

What this looks like in practice

A triangle of support is most effective when it includes a team of empathetic advisors who get to know their clients on a personal level and are proactive about solving problems on the client’s behalf.

Last year, Fred, 73, was referred to Better Health Advisors by his lawyer, who was concerned that he may not have the right health insurance in place. We spoke with his advisors to understand their concerns, and then our team did a holistic evaluation of his health.

We found that his health insurance was not a pressing concern, but he was socially isolated and showed signs of poor nutrition and mental health issues. He had the wrong doctors and lacked an emergency plan. 

We created a plan to manage Fred’s health that included new doctors, an advocate to attend medical appointments with him, social activities, and an emergency plan. We discussed the plan with his advisors and leveraged their close relationships with him to gain his trust. We’re working together to support Fred’s health now and in the future.

If you need help navigating the healthcare system for yourself or a loved one, reach out to an expert health advisor. Health advisors can assist with selecting concierge doctors, managing a new diagnosis, arranging for mental health or substance abuse support, and much more.

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