Proceeding through life without a succession plan is similar to sailing in unchartered waters without any navigational aids or emergency equipment. Your passage is full of uncertainty and potential risk, and without luck, you have no idea whether you’ll reach your destination. Being prepared for the future brings certainty, peace of mind and security, not only for you, but also for your family.
The more thorough your succession plan, the better off you will be. Succession planning isn’t complicated, but you can’t be expected to know what you don’t know. Most people need professional guidance to piece things together. One of the most difficult things is finding appropriate professional advisers to assist. Often it’s a multidisciplinary task involving a lawyer plus one or more of a financial planner, an accountant and an insurance adviser who identify and coordinate your legal needs along with asset protection, wealth accumulation, taxation advice, retirement planning and end of life events.
Unfortunately, there are many professionals amongst the multidisciplinary mix who are substandard, even disreputable, but it’s difficult for members of the public to distinguish the good from the not so good—that is, until it’s too late and disaster has struck. Just as a navigational map neglects to identify a dangerous reef, a poor succession plan can result in dire consequences.
A quality professional will put your interests first when formulating a plan which will assist you to prepare for contingencies that life can present along the way, achieve your long-term goals and provide for your eventual death. Most importantly, good advice is tailored to what matters most to you.
The value of good advice is that your plan will assist you to minimise the consequences of disasters and achieve your wishes, financial wellbeing, lifestyle and security. Security and certainty, not just for you, but for those you care about most.
When choosing a professional for your succession planning advice, consider the following:
- Check your adviser’s experience, qualifications and reputation (ask for references)
- Get a comprehensive breakdown of what’s included in the service offered and what is not
- Familiarise yourself in advance with issues you need to address (by reading the YOURLifeChoices articles written by Slater & Gordon) and then test your adviser by seeing if he/she addresses each of the issues
- Find out upfront how fees are calculated and ask for a fixed fee quotation
- Ensure your lawyer, financial planner and accountant are happy to work together cooperatively
…and the single most valuable piece of advice anyone can give you—start planning today, it’s never too early.
To find out more and to contact your local Slater & Gordon succession planning lawyer please call 1800 555 777.