The cascade of family wealth can be disruptive
Financial advisers are increasingly talking about the importance intergenerational wealth transfers play in their businesses. It is an area that represents both an opportunity and a threat. Expanding a connection to the wider family and generating prosperity for the loved ones of your clients can instil trust and ensure the relationship has longevity. On the other hand, however, should that relationship not exist, there is the potential that following a death of a client, their loved ones take the inherited wealth elsewhere and potentially make mistakes without your expertise.
A platform should reward families who plan together
The best way to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow is for a family to plan together with their adviser. To encourage and support this behaviour you should check to make sure a platform rewards a multi-generational family with discounts when they all invest, regardless of the amount. This could potentially save the family thousands of pounds in charges.'.
The right platform helps make wealth transfers an opportunity
As part of your regular due diligence, you should be assessing the suitability of platforms in how they support your clients in passing money through the generations. One way to approach this is to consider how the technology supports gifting to family members or what happens when your client dies.
Three key platform features that will support gifting
1. Minimum ages of entry. As gifting involves the passing wealth down to multiple generations, you need to check that the platform allows people under the age 18 to invest both in ISAs and pensions.
2. A wide range of trusts. Clients can be ‘reluctant givers' and the use of trusts can be an important way for them to maintain an element of control. You need to check that the platform offers a wide range of trusts.
3. Assignment flexibility. Being able to assign ownership of wealth partially or fully is an important platform characteristic to support gifting. You need to check what assignment flexibility the platform offers.
Three key platform features that will support a client's financial plan when they die
1. Online expression of wishes. Too often an expression of wish is either incomplete or is open to challenge because it is out of date. Being able to update an expression of wishes online at a client's annual review is a simple yet vital step. You should check whether the platform offers this level of support.
2. Full pension death benefit flexibility. You should not assume that a pension will offer dependant, successor, and nominee drawdown. Valuable tax efficiency could be lost if these options are not available on death. You need to check that the platform allows these for all ages of potential beneficiary.
3. Continuity of service of the deceased client's wealth. Being able to offer continuity of service is important for loved ones. Therefore, check that the platform has options to update ownership of ISAs and general investments by cash and in-specie transfers.
It's important to get the right platform in place to deliver the cascade of family wealth. For more information on Quilter's platform to help you with your due diligence click here
The Quilter solution
Quilter is the new name for Old Mutual Wealth. Since 1979, we've been supporting financial advice professionals like you.
This year we have invested significantly into our platform upgrade, to help you build more valuable relationships - moving forward together. A key part of the improvements has been to make it easier for advisers to incorporate true intergenerational planning with a full range of age specific ISAs and other products and better value for clients with family linking of accounts.
View Quilter's legals here.
The value of your client's investments may fall as well as rise and they may not get back what they put in.