Sadly, we have had a few clients die in the past 12 months, which is one of the risks of an ageing client bank. Much as we love our clients, they will not live forever.
That begs the question for a financial planning practice like ours of how we ensure we have young blood coming on board and able to take the place of the older clients.
We have already addressed such a problem, by introducing our ‘generation next’ seminars for children of our clients who have been named as executors, trustees, powers of attorney or beneficiaries.
Many of them have no idea of the burden that this brings and the amount of responsibility they must shoulder – especially if they know little or nothing about the financial details of the estate.
These workshops focus on various roles and attendant work, dealing with HM Revenue & Customs, the Office of the Public Guardian and probate.
A financial planner is in an ideal position to advise the bereaved, the family and the carers, especially at a difficult time on such matters.
They also have much of the information required at their fingertips.
The session culminates in an introduction to financial planning, with incentives to start their own, by waiving or reducing fees while their would-be benefactors are still alive.
Some parents have admitted to keeping their offspring in the dark and so we encourage them to these workshops or accompany them to our meetings, so that they can gain a better understanding of the intricacies and the implications.
We have now extended our planning service to be free for the initial strategy meeting to all children under the age of 40 of our clients with reduced costs and on-going fees.
This has been well received by all and motivates us to work more closely with all family members if possible, which was our intention when Uniq Family Wealth was established.
Financial services has focused on the well-off – who inevitably have been the older clientele – for too long, sometimes to its detriment, and this has been mirrored somewhat in the profession.
Soon there will be a dearth of financial planners and advisers as retirement or old age beckons, but that is a story for another day.
Marlene Outrim is managing director of Uniq Family Wealth