Many widows and newly divorced women haven’t been previously active in managing their wealth, and advising them takes special consideration, writes Mark Van Mourick, chief executive and president of Optivest, in The Huffington Post.

Some $25 trillion will be passed to women over the next two decades as a result of divorce, the death of a spouse or other inheritance, Mourick notes. Women who haven’t been actively involved in managing their investments, he writes, often find themselves with a “mental freeze” that leads them to hoard their cash or turn their investing over to commission-driven brokers.

Mourick counsels such clients to avoid making quick financial decisions — including about investments like real estate — until they have a complete plan in place. He also suggests doing “a full risk assessment analysis” of the client’s current financial situation, creating a home budget if the client has never had one and arranging to have a portion of after-tax income automatically deposited into a household bank account every month to ensure that expenses are covered.

One of the biggest hurdles, Mourick writes, is persuading women to move out of overly conservative investments, such as money market funds, CDs and short-term bonds, whose low interest rates generally don’t return enough to cover living costs.