Advisers put estate planning in too hard basket
Hans Egger of Astute Wheel has told Wealth Professional TV of the lack of engagement between clients and advisers about estate planning, which he said is a highly important and difficult area.
“Estate planning is complex and to do it properly requires the collaboration between your accountant, your lawyer, and your financial planner,” he said. “[But] financial planners are well-placed to assist in the process.”
This is because planners understand what assets clients hold and where, what life insurance is in place, and how superannuation and pension are treated within estate planning.
Typically they also have a very good relationship with their clients and are therefore able to ask the more personal questions to discover whether the estate planning solutions required are more complex than just “get a will and a power of attorney”.
Egger said, for example, someone with a 25-year-old daughter embarking on her first de facto relationship may not want to leave her $1 million directly.
“That relationship may not last, and those funds would be at risk,” he said.
As a result of the perceived need for better understanding and education within this type of planning, Astute Wealth Advice has just added an estate planning section to their AstuteWheel solution, an online tool that simplifies the process for any clients.
The tool involves a series of online steps that helps planners to guide their clients through the estate planning process. It includes building a family tree and an entity diagram with the client.
“We can then visually display to the client what assets are held in various entities and how they would be treated if no will existed,” said Eggers. “We can identify potential problems and determine possible solutions.”
The system then generates a number of options for the client to consider, and produces a briefing paper that they can take to their solicitor to confidently work through the process and get needed documents in place.