Clients need an advisor who, in looking out for their long term interests, brings the importance of estate planning to their attention. Your estate planning conversations with your clients should not be esoteric conversations about legal strategies for the super-wealthy.
When you expand your investments practice to include wealth transfer strategies, you will:
- Make yourself more valuable to your clients, solidifying client relationships and growing your business;
- Differentiate yourself from competition who focus on the more narrow investment plan;
- Form relationships with the trustees, executors, and other fiduciaries of your clients furthering your likelihood that you will retain the business after your clients pass away.
One of the areas where you can make yourself more valuable with your clients is by having a meaningful conversation with them about how they will leave their estate to their children. Your clients will have often have worked for decades building their estate, and it's likely they've never had an in-depth conversation with anyone about how they feel about what they leave behind for their children and grandchildren.
Here are a few conversation starters that will help you emotionally connect with your clients, resulting in your clients more valuing your relationship and your wealth management services. Questions you could ask your clients include:
- How important is it to you that you leave your children an inheritance?
- Do you want to leave your estate solely to your children? Or would you like to include your grandchildren in your estate.
- Are you concerned that your children will not use their inheritance the right way? Or would you prefer to set things up so that your children will receive their inheritance in stages, as opposed to a lump sum?
- Are you concerned that the spouses of your children will exert influence over your child in a way that your estate will not be used the right way?
- How will your children feel about you if you have an entire estate program all set up to make it easy for them when you die?
- How will your children feel about you if you leave them a mess that has to be sorted out in the courts?
- Do you want to designate a certain child to be in charge when you die? Or are you concerned that you might be showing partiality by naming only certain children to be handling things.
- What would you expect your children to do with their inheritance once they receive it.
- Have you had any in-depth discussions with your children about the legacy you are leaving them? If not, would you like me to facilitate a discussion with you and your children about your estate?
These are the things that your clients are thinking about as they ponder how they will leave their estate to their children and grandchildren. By simply asking the right questions, and listening closely to their responses, you will increase your wealth management value to your clients.
It's likely that once you and your clients start meaningful conversations about these issues, your clients will realize that they will need to work with an estate planning attorney to put and keep things in place so that they can leave the right legacy to their family. Simply contact us and bring your client to our office to start a conversation about how simple it is to properly address this important estate planning aspect of a wealth management practice.