With a major transfer of wealth on the horizon, here are a few ways to know if your advisor is prepared.
A major wealth transfer is on the horizon, meaning that you or your children could be on the receiving end of a major inheritance. While that can certainly be scary, a financial advisor’s job is to ensure that you’re prepared for the next steps of life, financially and otherwise. That means working to get a plan in place for that wealth, directing the funds to different avenues to pay necessary expenses and contributing to a variety of saving and investing vehicles that could help heirs prepare for the future. But how can clients know they’re in good hands with their financial advisor? Here are a few things your advisor should be doing to prepare you or your children for the future.
- Establishing Effective Multi-Generational Communication Channels
From working with so many clients, financial advisors perhaps best understand how difficult the topic of wealth transfer can be for families. It typically means the loss of a provider, and even more, a loved one. At the same time, it’s an important conversation to have to ensure you’re prepared for the future. Families looking for an advisor capable of assisting with the transfer of wealth should look for someone who understands how to communicate with each member of the family. Additionally, the advisor should be intimately familiar with the financial goals of both the client and their beneficiaries, offering a plan in any scenario and a bit of continuity in a period during which comfort is key.
- Putting a Support System in Place
What we’ve found in our time in this industry is that millennials have higher expectations of their advisors than baby boomers. This usually extends from the actual planning services offered and into the personal side of the relationship. Your advisor should be prepared to discuss a holistic approach to financial and estate planning. They should also have a built-in network of CPAs, attorneys and other professionals, or they should be willing to work with yours to find the most suitable solution for your circumstances and goals.
- Emphasizing Tax-Efficient Estate Planning
Individuals with significant assets to transition to their heirs may want to work toward solidifying a tax-efficient estate plan that can mitigate estate-tax obligation. This can protect assets from taxation that could potentially equal up to 40% of an inheritance. Some of the tools you can look to discuss with your advisor include revocable trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs) and grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs).