Tuart Hill: Grief Centre of WA hosting talk on death and finances

Donna Lee Powell & Christine Richardson. Photo: Bruce Hunt
Donna Lee Powell & Christine Richardson. Photo: Bruce Hunt

THE insensitive way financial organisations treated Donna Lee Powell following her husband’s sudden death inspired her to help others.

The DLP Life Design founder specialises in providing financial planning and advice related to clients dying or the death of a loved one.

Ms Powell, who recently won the Association of Financial Advisers Female Excellence in Advice Award, will be sharing her knowledge and trying to educate people on the importance of being financially prepared for death at The Grief Centre of WA in Tuart Hill next week.

“There’s just one certain thing in life and that’s that we’re all going to die, we just never know when that’s going to be,” she said.

“The volunteers at the Grief Centre of WA see how the pressure of dealing with estates when someone dies can affect people’s stress levels and wellbeing.

“It can be quite traumatic for people who are already grieving.”

Ms Powell was widowed three years ago at age 38, when her husband Brett died during an ironman event.

Despite her financial experience and the fact they had life insurance, she found the process traumatic.

“I still was alarmed and really disappointed with the way I was treated,” she said.

“I was just a number, there wasn’t a lot of care and compassion.”

Centre co-founder Christine Richardson has heard many stories of how people were badly treated by financial institutions after the death of a family member.

“Unfortunately despite all the (banking royal commission) attention, the policy and procedures which remain in place for families when someone dies are still insensitive and frustrating to the extreme,” she said.

“We have listened to many clients in tears and distress over bank behaviour.

“I have sat with numerous widows where banks have taken action literally within hours of the death of their husband.”

Ms Richardson said the Banking and Bereavement free seminar on November 14 was for everyone, particularly people who have lost a partner or child.

“We hope that we can assist those who may currently be in distressing situations and/or to alert others so that they may be forewarned and prepared in case the unthinkable happens, someone they love dies,” she said.

According to Ms Powell, if people were not prepared for death their family risked losing their current wealth and lifestyle so urged everyone to take the time to plan now for the inevitable.

“My journey has taught me how important it is to talk about death and dying,” she said.

“It’s the most rewarding work I do.”

The seminar is on Wednesday, November 14 from 7pm at 105 Banksia Street, Tuart Hill.