The following are some of the top wealth transfer concerns our customers have:
- Some customers are very asset rich, but cash poor, in that most of their wealth is locked up in illiquid assets like properties, collectibles, businesses and even complex financial assets that may take time to unwind. Should they pass on, it may require some time before their loved ones are able to unlock the value of these assets. In other instances, the customer may want the next generation to hold on to these assets for familial or sentimental reasons, as opposed to liquidating them for a quick buck.
- Some customers may have huge debt liabilities such as property loans that they have yet to settle. In these cases, they may not want the next generation to share their debt burden in the event of their passing.
- Some customers have conflicting goals – they would like to retire comfortably and yet have enough to pass on to the next generation as a substantial bequest. However, to do one may necessarily mean sacrificing the other.
- Some customers are faced with businesses and assets that cannot be divided easily. Hence, they may not be able to fairly distribute their estate to their heirs.
- Others may be concerned about protecting the value of their assets during a market downturn. These customers would like to better secure the amount of estate benefit that they can pass down to their successors.
Often, these concerns can be addressed with an insurance product like universal life. The beauty of universal life is that it can help to create more liquid assets to facilitate the distribution of the customer's estate according to his/her wishes. The guaranteed sum assured from a life policy may also be distributed sooner to the customer's beneficiaries to tide them over the short-term, while they proceed to unwind the deceased's estate.
These plans, however, can be expensive. Hence, from an advisory perspective, we have to understand the full extent of the customer's financial situation along with their assets and liabilities, before drawing up an effective wealth transfer plan.