Important Planning Points to Cover with Parents
Life can get hectic for parents when the school year starts. Parents often juggle many different responsibilities, which increase with the number of children they have and activities the children participate in. Most parents feel like they need to be in five places at once!
It may feel difficult to motivate clients that are parents of minor children to establish a comprehensive estate plan because they feel pulled in so many directions; however, they are a market that need an estate plan. You can educate these clients that a lack of proper planning can result in their children and loved ones being forced to go through complex and emotionally draining legal processes that can easily be avoided.
Begin the discussion.
As a trusted advisor, you are in a unique position to discuss important aspects of your clients’ lives that they may not feel comfortable discussing otherwise. Most clients with minor children are busy making important day-to-day decisions about their children’s lives, but may have not taken the time to consider what would happen if they were no longer around to make those decisions for their children.
What will happen at their death?
Speaking with your clients about what would happen if they were no longer living can be a difficult conversation, but you should emphasize to them that they should be proactive in planning so that they can make decisions about who would raise their children and how they should be raised. Every parent has beliefs and values that are important to them, and putting a plan in place can ensure that their children are raised in a way that emphasizes both.
What are your client’s goals?
As part of your planning process, you have likely already spent time discussing your client’s long-term financial goals. Your clients should not only be considering retirement, but also how to best structure their finances to ensure that their children will continue to be raised how your clients want in the event of their deaths. It is impossible to predict the future or how long we will live, however, you can help your clients develop a plan by calculating the costs of providing for their children at their death under multiple scenarios. This process may begin by asking your clients questions about what they envision for their children, such as whether they want their children to have a private education, attend college, or start a business. As an advisor, you can provide your clients with the financial tools and strategies to develop a plan to make their vision for their children’s future a reality.
Every client needs a plan.
It is not uncommon for clients to come into your office without an estate plan. Most clients do not start the planning process until they experience losing a loved one. It is important to encourage your clients to connect with a qualified estate planning attorney who can assist them to ensure that the financial plan you have created for them is accompanied by a comprehensive set of estate planning documents to implement and maintain said plan. There will be the clients who have established an estate plan prior to meeting with you; when dealing with these types of clients, it is always beneficial to remind them that their plan should be reviewed regularly to ensure it still serves the purpose it was established for. We would love the opportunity to assist your clients in creating or reviewing their estate plan.