There is a need for financial plans to be included in wills, as research shows that a large percentage of clients are not taking into account their advisers’ financial advice when estate planning.
The latest figures from Canada Life found that just one in three (31%) advisers say that all or most of their advice is incorporated into a client’s will.
Meanwhile, less than one in ten advisers (8%) said all of their advice is taken on board in the will, with one in twenty admitting that none of their advice is included.
Neil Jones, tax and wealth specialist, Canada Life, said there remains a disconnect between solicitors, accountants and advisers when it comes to estate planning.
He said: “Unfortunately, it’s often the advisers’ work that is left out in the cold and this could be to the detriment of the beneficiaries. Obviously questions around trusts, gifting and annual tax-free allowances are areas where anyone writing a will should be listening to the financial experts. But the problems don’t even need to be that complex to need an adviser. Usually the adviser simply has a better grasp than anyone else of where the assets are, their tax status and the impact of any gifting.
“Even though it’s a small number, it’s truly worrying that 5% of wills aren’t incorporating any of advisers’ planning. This seems to be a truly dangerous approach to the clients’ finances.”
Two in five advisers (40%) said that being able to work more closely with solicitors would have the biggest impact on improving the uptake of financial advice, while 37% said the same of accountants. Just over in ten (12%) view will writing services as having a potential benefit on their business.
Jones added: “We need greater connection between solicitors and advisers. In larger estates particularly it would be incredibly valuable to ensure that an adviser is present when the will is being drawn up. It’s simply the best way to get clients and their beneficiaries the result they deserve.”