Advisers can DIY on estate planning

There are opportunities for planners to move into the estate planning space within their existing licensing capabilities, without the need for extensive re-training, according to a life product manufacturer.

Some of the current solutions for parts of the estate planning market are “archaic,” according to Matt Walsh, head of Lifeplan and general manager of specialised products at Australian Unity Investments.

“Advisers shouldn’t be frightened from a training and compliance point of view with moving into the estate planning space, because I don’t think it’s as polarised or as binary as what they’re thinking,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s as binary as refer [clients] to a lawyer who draws up a will which makes up a testamentary trust, I just think that’s an archaic way of approaching it.”

Walsh said planners are “holding themselves back,” believing they need to do more training.

“You can look around for products that are currently within [planners’] licensing and educational abilities, and start to bring in some of these questions and solutions for the investable assets within their current planning arrangement,” he said.

Walsh said most estate planning and intergenerational wealth transfer needs can be met in a “relatively straight forward way” by an adviser.

However, Walsh said planning involving more complex assets and investments still require a high degree of specialisation.

“The planning industry as a whole could materially improve the estate planning and intergenerational wealth transfer outcomes for their clients with a little extra effort, without having to see it as a new specialisation,” he said.

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