In Focus: Intergenerational Wealth  

How protection fits into family wealth planning

How protection fits into family wealth planning

"If you can't write it, then refer it. But do not ignore it": this was the stark message to advisers from Tony Mudd, divisional director for tax and technical support at St James's Place. 

Speaking on the latest FTAdviser In Focus podcast on the topic of how protection fits into family financial planning, Mudd, along with his fellow panellists, discussed why it is not just important to curate wealth, but also to protect the people bringing that wealth into the household.

Mudd commented: "There is no magic bullet. There are milestones that can offer triggers to discuss protection with clients - the birth of a child or becoming married or cohabiting - but there are many opportunities for advisers.

"That said, financial advisers are ultimately in business and will specialise in areas of their own expertise and target client markets in a specific way. We can sit here saying protection is the foundation of all planning, which it is, but if they do not have the expertise, it is ... acceptable to refer it to someone else."

There are many ways that advisers can encourage families to consider using protection as part of intergenerational wealth planning, the panel argued, not just in terms of writing life insurance into trust to help with estate planning but also as a means of protecting wealth through the generations. 

Fellow panellist Kathryn Knowles, managing director at Cura Financial Services, said: "What about getting parents paying for income protection for their adult children? 

"If people who are middle aged get ill, quite often the bank of mum and dad still has to step in. So potentially can we say to older clients, would they consider thinking about paying for protection for their children?"

Alun Beynon, head of distribution for intermediary protection at Scottish Widows, agreed it was vital to have those conversations about protection when it comes to family wealth planning. 

He said: "Ultimately, what we are talking about is a cultural change in the market. Even 30 years ago, we spoke about how each generational cohort was going to be wealthier than the one before. But this has now come to a screeching halt. 

"The simple reality is the younger generations simply are not going to be able to meet all the challenges of not just wealth accumulation but also getting relevant protection in place. 

"There is definitely a market we need to look into for parents/grandparents to put cover for their adult children in place. They might not be able to make an inter-vivos wealth transfer, but they might be able to afford protection for their adult children."

To listen to the full podcast, click on the link above.