Proper family wealth planning can go a long way towards protecting your clients' hard-earned wealth and ensuring they can pass it onto future generations, if that is their wish.
But why can it be so tricky to do later-life planning, especially for 'deprived daughters'?
And how can advisers help their clients set their financial house in order, whether their clients are male and female?
Ben Mason, chief executive of Kinherit, spoke to FTAdviser In Focus about why it is important to protect wealth and assets across generations - especially to prevent women from being left out-of-pocket thanks to "some idiot".
FTAdviser: You've done a presentation recently called Deprived Daughters and Disinherited Dukes. What was the motivation behind that - and are daughters really deprived or dukes really disinherited?
Ben Mason: Not with the proper advice and end of life planning in place. The title of the presentation was inspired by some of the most common dilemmas that clients come to us with - protecting their wealth and assets across generations and ensuring that their final wishes are carried out without undue delay.
I have a daughter myself and frankly I’m terrified at the prospect of her meeting some idiot when I’m gone and having him take off with half of what we leave her.
At the same time, you rarely hear of destitute dukes, because families of substance have understood for hundreds of years that the clever use of trusts can shield their beneficiaries from punitive tax bills on death and allow for a consistent handover to the next generation.
FTA: End-of-life finances seem to confuse so many people, not just women. Are we really all a bit lackadaisical when it comes to setting our financial house in order?
BM: It is a society ‘thing’. While many people will happily spend 30 minutes reading a review for a new restaurant, or 20 minutes watching clips of 'The Voice; Portugal' they do not want to think about death, so keep putting it off. Lackadaisical? Maybe. Head in the sand? Definitely.
Proper end of life planning shouldn’t be something to be scared of; actually it can give great peace of mind.
It will look at the legal, financial and practical realities of death, the cost (time and effort) is minimal compared to the reassurance in life, the help on death and potentially the protection for generations to come.
FTA: What are the dangers of not tackling inheritance planning properly before it's too late?
BM: Death can be a tough subject to tackle and often people are turning to put their affairs in order late in life. However, death or incapacitation can happen at any time, and developing a good system early on can bring wider benefits.
For example, our Kinvault is designed to help customers organise and securely store the right information for their situation, in a way that can be safely passed on to an attorney (on incapacitation under a lasting power of attorney) or executor (on death), so you can be assured that you’re making things as easy as possible for those you leave.