Q: I am having trouble convincing my husband to complete a Will. I cannot unearth his concerns or fears, let alone the real reason why he won’t take action. Do you have any insights and can you make some suggestions?
A: The concerns and fears held by your husband are common and are shared by both men and women regardless of their age. Unearthing the real reason behind your husband’s reluctance to complete an updated plan to pass on your legacy to each other and the next generation is the key. If you are having trouble determining what this is, a trusted adviser such as a solicitor, accountant or financial adviser maybe able to unlock the answer.
All people are different and their underlying issue preventing from taking that step can be unique. We have found that clients have some common objections which fall into a few different basic categories: the basic fear; complexity; and the associated costs involved.
The basic fear – Many people have a fear of discussing the concept of death and disability and find it a very confronting process which they choose not to address.
Complexity – Your personal circumstances and family dynamic can generate complexity. Imagine how complex things become if a valid Will is not in place. Your husband’s fear might be he cannot see how he to make difficult decisions without creating more stress and worry for all involved. By working with trusted advisers such as a financial adviser and a solicitor, they can remove this complexity to let you focus on the key issues to be addressed.
Costs involved – If you are concerned about the costs involved, this can be managed from the outset by obtaining a Terms of Engagement. A Terms of Engagement includes a cost estimate for the scope of advice, services to be delivered, time taken and number of meetings. Based on our experience, variations to the quoted costs are minimal and using this process means you can proceed with confidence.
A financial adviser is not a solicitor and cannot complete your important legal documents such as a Will or a Power of Attorney. However, as financial advisers who specialise in estate planning, we:
- Understand people, emotions, fears, motivations and objections.
- Have the pre-requisite knowledge, experience and understanding of a client’s total situation.
- Understand how a client’s financial plan fits into their estate plan and can work towards overcoming any issues (such as short falls in funding a legacy or providing for minor children).
- Have access to and control all of the required information used during the process (or can work with your other trusted advisers such as your accountant).
Once you have created your plan, it should be reviewed on a regular basis as part of your financial plan and updated should your circumstances change. However, a carefully constructed Will that has built-in flexibility, provisions and protection can mean your plan could last for a long period of time. If you average the cost over a period of ten years, then it is an excellent investment in your future.
Each person’s motivations to complete or avoid completing their legacy plan are unique . You may wish to ask one or two of your friends or co-workers about their experience and any apprehension they may have experienced themselves or with their family members.
I hope this gives you a new insight into understanding some the possible concerns and objections that may be held by your husband, and how working with a financial adviser and solicitor who specialise in estate planning is key to passing on your legacy to the next generation.