Advisers will need to improve their skills and tools around intergenerational financial planning to keep pace with demand, according to new research from analyst group AKG.
More than half (54%) of advisers say demand for intergenerational planning has grown in the past year, with 8% acknowledging that it had increased significantly. Nearly nine in ten (88%) believe demand will rise over the next five years, with 25% anticipating significant growth.
The surge in demand will mean change for advisers, with more than two out of five (44%) concerned about potential family disputes, while 38% are worried about vulnerable clients and 24% admit a lack of expertise in legal issues.
AKG said 59% of advisers believe greater awareness of the impact of inheritance tax is driving demand from clients, while 40% cited changes in pension laws to make funds more attractive as a way of passing on wealth.
Matt Ward, communications director at AKG, said: “The development of training and compliance modules within firms which support and enhance the ability of the adviser to address and tackle the core issues of vulnerable clients and family disputes will be vital.
“Similarly aligned processes which continue to maintain best practice and ensure the recording of all interaction and issues will be needed to provide solid audit trails. There is also a requirement for development of empathic relationship and soft questioning skills, and a need to broaden fact finding to bring family hierarchy, goals and issues into play.”
Sean Osborne, group head of sales at Charles Stanley, said: “The reasons why families are reluctant to have open conversations about intergenerational wealth planning are obvious. Many do not want to think about the loss of loved ones – and the fear of bringing conflict into the family is a real deterrent.
“However, the Covid-19 pandemic has started to change this – acting as a catalyst for these conversations as people look at the uncertainties the future may hold. Now feels an ideal opportunity to engage with families around some of the key planning opportunities to secure their own and their family’s future.”