Being a member of the Wealth Counsel organization gives me access to the first string across the country, and recently one of these colleagues addressed what is a concern for many of my clients. So I’m passing along his thoughts. I think you will find them, as I did, to be very relevant and helpful.
“Typically a client builds a team of advisors to pull all the planning and implementation pieces together. We all know that selecting this first team of advisors is very important. Many people are extra thorough in their approach. Getting referrals, researching others experiences, and hopefully assembling a trusted group of advisors in the process. And in most cases, once they pick their advisors they typically stick with the team. Most people don’t like change, so a well chosen team avoids future stress and churn in the team’s makeup.
One the First Team has been built. Then comes the next most important task – choosing the Second String. This is a critical next step, but often people don’t take this “second string” step. What do we mean by “second string”? Just as in sports, these are the “subs” or the ones that come into the game when something happens to the “first string” or starters. These are the ones waiting in the wings to take their place without a loss of momentum.
The same situation occurs in working with your advisors for some of the most important aspects of your life – your wealth, your wills, your trusts, etc. We can all agree that no one is going to live forever. But few people take the next step to minimize their estate risks by picking “successors” to back-up each member of the first team.
When it comes to managing personal risks, a succession plan should be implemented, especially for estate planning. It does take a bit of time, and it is a nominal investment. But it is wise to have that second string in place sharing the “playbook” for your estate. It just helps lower your risks, lowers your stress and allows you to sleep better at night.”