October is Free Wills Month, and Stephen Moses, from digital estate planning platform Zenplans is urging advisers to use it as an opportunity to talk to their clients about taking their estate planning to the next level – and connect with the next generation.
“During free wills month, clients are probably being bombarded with offers of free Wills from charities and are thinking ‘no thanks, I’m covered’ but, with the campaign putting Wills and estate planning at front and centre, it offers advisers a fantastic opportunity to discuss how they can work with clients to take their planning to the next level,” he said.
“Clients will be well aware that if they don’t have a Will they have no say in how their estate is distributed, however, estate planning is not just about Wills – a vital part of estate planning is to ensure there is a plan in place should a client become unable to make important decisions for themselves.”
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) a trusted friend or relative is nominated to make decisions on their behalf in case of lost capacity, and while most people have a Will, just 12% of people have an LPA in place. By talking to clients now about estate planning, they can be encouraged to put plans in place so that their best interests are still met, even if they become unable to make important decisions for themselves.
Stephen adds: “Discussing Wills and LPAs also lends itself to talking about the ‘what’ as well as the ‘who’ and the ‘how’ i.e. talking to clients about ensuring key information about their estate is easily accessible by the right people at the right time. This not only makes it much easier for their family to deal with, but also ensures nothing is missed.”
Zenplans is a new digital estate planning service for advisers to help their clients securely organise, maintain and store all their most important personal and financial information, with the option to selectively share key details with named delegates, either immediately or after a particular time – for example, after death, or if the client becomes incapacitated. This ensures information is quickly and easily accessible by the right people as and when needed.
Stephen concludes: “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that you really never know what is around the corner and so advisers so should take this opportunity to contact their clients now about looking beyond Wills and to the next stage of estate planning.
“This will not only give their clients peace of mind, but also, could create opportunities for advisers to offer further support and start building meaningful relationships with the next generation who are on the cusp of the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history.”