Risk advice and estate planning
Mediq Financial Services' Adrian Loadsman discusses how estate planning fits in naturally with risk advice.
How does estate planning fit into the risk advice you offer?
Estate planning is an important subject in our multi-disciplinary advice service and we provide this to each of our medical professionals.
Risk advice is crucial for individuals, their families and businesses to understand their current and future risk factors and to create their financial contingency plan. Estate (and succession) planning is the unravelling of their contingency plan, not just a financial solution (that being risk insurance to pay down debts/leave a legacy) but the legal means to distributing their assets as per their own wishes and in the most tax-effective manner.
Is it a natural fit?
Absolutely. I believe each risk management plan should include the client's estate planning needs based on the discussions had, and if advisers are not having this discussion, they should be.
This does not include 'You do not have a will or power of attorney, we recommend you speak to a lawyer' – this is simply inept.
Have you always offered estate planning advice along with risk advice?
We have offered estate planning services to clients since inception, although not to the same degree. It only takes one thing close to home to realise how important estate planning is, and for this, we focus on it as part of our overall wealth management strategy.
What opportunities does offering estate planning provide you – whether that be business-wise or with your clients?
This provides us with the opportunity to fully know our clients, understand and be introduced to their families and personal relationships, and finally deliver on our promise at the time of the event.
Furthermore, we know our clients are truly time-poor professionals and to provide a complete and collaborative approach makes their life easier.
Are there any challenges you have experienced while helping clients through the advice process?
Usually it is organising a mutually convenient time for all relevant parties to be present, which is an important step. This includes: tax accountants, planners, lawyers, the clients themselves and potentially the executor/s, where applicable. That being said, you learn to put this into perspective and make it happen for the benefit of each client and put their mind at ease.
What differences can risk advisers provide in estate planning that financial planners cannot?
I believe the majority of risk advisers are indeed financial planners who have become subject matter experts in risk management.
We are seeing a shift where more and more firms, boutique and corporate, are adapting to incorporate specialists within the financial planning profession, risk and estate planning being two of those. We simply cannot be experts at everything.
As a risk adviser, would you recommend other advisers take up estate planning?
Risk advisers have a huge opportunity to extend their services with estate planning. While tailoring risk strategies for your clients you more than likely incorporate such estate planning factors [such as] tax-effective income streams, trust and death benefit pensions. If so, why not see this through with their estate planning needs. If this is not currently the case, I highly recommend you explore further.
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