It can be hard to get clients motivated about estate planning. For some people it sounds about as fun as getting a root canal. However, as their advisor, you know that clients want to make sure their loved ones are protected and are set to receive any inheritance without issues — whether they have $10 million or $10,000 to pass on.
Don’t let these common roadblocks stop clients from protecting their assets:
Nobody wants to talk about death.
Discussions of death, dying, and illness make many folks understandably uncomfortable. Add to that discussions of money and family, and words like ‘wills’ and ‘trusts’, it’s no wonder estate planning gets put on the back burner. However, the right team of advisors can help. Approaching clients from the perspective of legacy and sharing can help to ease that discomfort. Focusing on both the memories and assets that they’d like to pass down changes the focus onto more positive aspects of planning. While there will inevitably be difficult topics to cover, it’s important that clients don’t let a few minutes of feeling uncomfortable stop them from taking care of themselves and their loved ones.
‘Now’ Is Not a Good Time.
Everyone is busy, and as mentioned in #1, estate planning doesn’t sound like a client’s idea of a ‘fun’ afternoon. But when it comes to important discussions like this, there is never going to be a ‘better’ or ‘perfect’ time. While clients may continue to procrastinate, the lingering task on their ‘to do’ list is probably stressing them out just as much. Gently follow up, encourage them to get a meeting on the calendar, and simply start the process. They’ll feel a great sense of relief, and even more so once the plan is finalized.
They just don’t ‘get’ it.
Familial details are discussed, diagrams are drawn, finances are discussed, the law is analyzed. The whole process may seem overwhelming to someone new to estate planning, or some may question why an estate plan is even necessary if they already have a will and powers of attorney documents. This is why clients hire professionals — to help translate complex legal concepts into more relatable terms and identify areas where their estate might be vulnerable (like if their will is out-of-date, concern about creditors or disgruntled family members, protections for children’s inheritance, and so much more). Many clients are not aware of all that estate planning encompasses, and a brief introductory meeting can help move the conversation forward.
The truth is that estate planning is not really that bad. In fact, with the help of the right advisors, estate planning can be easy. We can provide talking points for starting these discussions with your clients, such as: starting a legacy-based conversation, identifying goals and concerns, analyzing their family and financial situation, incorporating personal values into their planning, and more. With the right tools in-place, you can be successful in creating meaningful legacies for your clients, while minimizing their apprehension and making estate planning a positive experience.
There is no better time than today to help your clients start the estate planning process.
Start The Legacy Conversation With Your Clients Today!