Here are a few guidelines which emphasize that Succession Planning is not only for the Rich:
“Men may come & men may go, but I go on forever”- Lord Alfred Tennyson
Building wealth takes a lot of time, patience & hard work. You endeavor day & night to secure your loved ones’ future. Managing assets is a complicated process indeed. You need to document everything from investment to due dates; which might be quite cumbersome. Everything needs to be done within an already busy schedule.
Have you revealed the details of your assets to your legal heirs?
In the midst of all the frenzy, you might have missed it.
Do you know that intricate property laws and claims procedure can impede the transfer of the wealth and assets between generations!
Wondering what’s going on?
Hey, I am referring to Succession Planning!
You must be doing your tax planning, insurance planning and wealth planning regularly.
But, have you sorted your succession planning lately?
Let me share a story to simplify things a bit.
Mr Kaushik, 35-year-old, was a happily married man. From the very beginning, he had chalked out his financial plans. He had got a 1 crore term insurance plan. Gradually, he accumulated substantial wealth via mutual funds investing. It was good enough to take care of his wife & children in his absence. But in all these years, Kaushik never discussed his financial plans with anyone, not even with his wife.
Work pressure was steadily taking a toll on his life. Suddenly, he was diagnosed with cancer. His health continued to deteriorate. One fine day, he left this world and his wife & children. It completely shattered their whole existence. Neither his wife nor his relatives could handle the issues diligently. They lacked experience of a financial expert.
Things wouldn’t have messed up had Kaushik’s family knew about his accumulated wealth. They could have easily got the insurance claim. The only problem was they couldn’t locate the documents. All your money is useless if it can’t alleviate the troubles of your family.
It can happen to anyone.
Think of a situation when you are not around your loved ones. It would leave them perplexed. In the absence of succession planning, they won’t come to know what all investments you had. It would become difficult to locate the documents. They will be clueless about who are the beneficiaries.
Sometimes they may not even know if there was a will at all. They might be unaware of the legal procedures.
In spite of having resources, your family may remain in financial deprivation due to lack of succession planning.
Also read: Estate planning through a will or a trust
What’s need for Succession Planning?
A study conducted by Kotak Wealth Management provides the following motives behind Succession Planning:
– To ensure well-being of the immediate family
– To make the family capable and self-reliant
– To contribute to growth of household business/prestige
– To reduce family/internal disputes
– To ensure welfare of other stakeholders
Succession Planning involves asset structuring using sophisticated strategic planning vehicles. These aim at providing security and financial stability. You get a higher control over your finances. Finally, it provides for an orderly transfer of the assets upon your demise.
Succession planning, today, has become even more vital than before. The disposable income of families is growing. Assets have proliferated across national boundaries. Present generations are more individualistic than their ancestors. They perceive ancestral property differently. Instances of matrimonial disputes, freezing of assets upon death, government intervention are recurrent. If everything goes well, then various taxes take away a big chunk of your wealth.
Succession planning is an inseparable part of financial planning. It needs to be taken seriously. It facilitates in protecting the family’s savings from all potential threats. Lack of succession planning may deplete wealth altogether. Additionally, assets may fall in wrong hands or inexperienced hands.
Conversely, a definite succession plan may preserve wealth for many generations. It prevents wastage/misuse of hard-earned money. Moreover, it ensures deployment of money towards the welfare of survivors & goal-accomplishment.
You need to address succession planning issues before it’s too late.
How can you go about succession planning?
Succession planning happens to be a specific branch of the finance domain. It requires an understanding of family dynamics in addition to legal and financial implications. In India, succession planning is multi-layered. There exists an array of regulations. It ranges from succession laws to currency control laws. These need to be considered simultaneously.
An able financial expert like an Advisor can help you to win your succession planning battles. The workable solutions provided would be in line with your goals. Additionally, these would be practical, cost-effective and legally compliant.
Usually, advisors possess the following skills that’ll make succession planning a cakewalk:
– Handholding and Client-oriented approach
– Solutions crafted to suit life goals of client
– Communications skills to convey complex regulations in a lucid manner
– Robust and creative solutions to protect client’s wealth
– Honest and transparent approach
– Regular follow-ups
– Empathetic style
Advisors tend to work towards 100% client-satisfaction. They devise long-term feasible succession plans. Additionally, they assume onus of their act. All this to ensure that you aren’t stranded in soup.
Some of the areas where you may expect support are as follows:
– Defining the beneficiaries of your estate, how, when and in what proportions
– Identifying individuals whom you want for managing the distribution of your estate
– Ensuring the survivor has ample funds for sustenance and to fulfil his financial goals.
– Support in planning for all contingencies like a family member rendered incapacitated
By now, you must have understood the significance of Succession Planning. The quantum of wealth you’ve got isn’t the criteria. You need to make sure it’s tracked and well-documented. An advisor will help in its preservation. Additionally, he will devise ways to grow it. And when you are not there, the advisor will ensure the wealth reaches your loved ones.
This article should not be construed as investment advice, please consult your Investment Adviser before making any sound investment decision.
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