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How to plan for the great wealth transfer

“We will ask them to bring somebody else to the meeting. We will insist in certain situations they are vulnerable.”

Ms North added for everyone else, at the start, one should assume they could be vulnerable, whatever the situation may be. 

Another delegate said: “It is very easy to explain to older people, ‘I am not going to deal [with you] without your sons in the room, because one day I will have to explain to them what I have done’.”

But it is not as easy when the client is younger, they delegate. 

Ms Ingram highlighted that many parents can also be vulnerable to fraud by their own children, particularly as digital power of attorneys are not regulated. 

“If you do a power of attorney online, it is not regulated. It is possible to have their parents’ data and register online and without the donor knowing about it.”

It may be cheaper to go on the online route and avoid having to pay a solicitor as well, but what it means is that parents are subject to exploitation.

She urged all clients to go through a solicitor to obtain power of attorneys. 

Social impact

Some suggested that financial advice companies struggle to win loyalty from their clients’ children, and considering factors that are important to them is the way forward.

Ms North suggested advisers need to make things such as environmental, social and governance factors and societal impact a core focus in understanding the needs and wants of the next generation. 

Ms North said: “It is about demonstrating value, I think there is a huge shift now in making that more of a focus. If you want to keep a client across the generations, you need to understand what matters to the client’s children.”

Other panellists discussed how some clients also prefer to leave wealth to charities. 

“There are plenty of people who don’t mind and don’t think leaving money to children regardless of [how they are taxed] is a good idea,” one delegate told the roundtable. 

Connecting with the next generation 

Delegates were told “planners need to wear many hats” in order to make the transfer of intergenerational wealth as efficient as possible. 

An attendee said that less than a quarter (24 per cent) of parents are having conversations with their adult children on inheritance. 

Ms North said: “We focus so much on investment return, which is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things and it is tricky because that transition is taking a lot of time.”