Brick Sturgeon remembers his "lightbulb moment." His clients were two middle-aged sisters who had inherited $500,000 from their father. Two years after his death, however, the money still sat in their father's accounts. Each time Sturgeon, a Raymond James advisor at Pinnacle Asset Management in Nashville, Tenn., spoke to them, they offered a new excuse: Their father's broker didn't return their calls, they misplaced the paperwork, they had no time. Finally, he realized the problem. The inheritance "represented finality to a great man's life," he says. "And they didn't want to acknowledge his death."

Sturgeon changed his approach, from What would you like me to do? to Here's what we're going to do. And when he did that, the sisters breathed a sigh of relief. They pooled their father's many accounts into one joint account, split it in half, and invested in a moderately conservative mix of mutual funds. They now enjoy the security of their money, plus the comfort of feeling that they are carrying out their father's wishes, Sturgeon says.

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