The benefits of including loved ones in the planning process have been discussed in a previous post. Here we will continue that conversation and discuss the benefits of clients introducing their children to their advisors, as well as clients introducing their various advisors to each other.
Introduce Children to Advisors
At what point should a client include his or her children in the planning process? Millennials tend to include their children at younger ages than Baby Boomers, but when, if ever, is it appropriate? Just as clients do not like to discuss their finances with family, they also tend not to discuss their financial goals and estate plans with their children.
Typically, the first meeting between a client’s child and the advisor is only after the death of the parent. Similar to meeting a stranger at a party, it takes time to establish comfort and rapport, and frequently such is never achieved. If, however, two people are introduced through a mutual contact, there is a level of trust already built into the new relationship.”
When the introduction between child and advisor is made by the client directly, it establishes a vital relationship that is beneficial to all parties involved. Additionally, it facilitates a better understanding of the advisor’s role and the parent’s goal. When children are raised in a home that focuses on the benefits of planning, they develop skills and establish habits of financial maturity. By introducing children to those people the client trusts while the child is learning financial maturity, it solidifies the importance of those lessons. Such meetings should occur as soon as the child has begun learning personal financial responsibility.
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Introduce Advisors from Different Practice Areas
Just as it is important for the client’s children to meet the advisors, it is equally important for the client to introduce his or her advisors from different practice areas to each other. Advisors work best when they understand the personal and financial goals of the client. It is beneficial to the client when all of the client’s advisors know each other and have a working relationship because advice is only as good as the information upon which it is based. Having full and complete information allows advisors to better fulfill their roles and duties to the client.
An additional benefit to the client is in the event the client is no longer able to communicate his or her desires, all of the advisors together can piece together the long-term plan. This allows the various advisors to continue the process through to implementation while giving peace of mind to the client that his or her intent will be carried out.
By opening communication between the children and the advisor, as well as communication among the various advisors, those for whom the client cares most will have a better understanding of the purpose and intent of the plan, with the ultimate result being a greater likelihood of a complete and successful plan.
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