Why should financial advisers offer probate to their clients?

As a financial adviser, you take a lot of time, effort and care to build up and manage your client’s wealth. Through this you establish a great rapport and lasting relationship with your clients.

It is you that ensures that income is managed for the retirement stage, and that capital is built-up and protected for your client’s children upon their death, via succession planning.

Yet many advisers believe that the life cycle of the capital they built up ends upon client death and that all the hard work you did for your client has come to a natural end.

While death certainly ends the relationship with the deceased, it shouldn’t necessarily mean an end to your involvement with the capital you’ve helped to amass and protect.

As a family’s financial adviser, you have intricate knowledge of all the investments in your client’s portfolio. You also probably have details of car, health, home and life insurance policies. Your client may also give you details of their mortgage arrangements, private pensions and stocks and shares. These details are required upon the death of your client, by the Executors of the client’s Will, for Probate.

So, you may find yourself liaising with your client’s solicitor about the products you have recommended for Probate purposes. A solicitor, who has probably never even met your client, yet is instructed to handle the deceased’s estate. They are also likely to charge quite a hefty fee for the privilege.

Many financial advisers and wealth managers are now offering probate services themselves, as part of their offering - enhancing their business proposition. You know your client and have access to their investment details, private pensions and other financial products. So why shouldn’t it be you, instead of a solicitor or bank that administers the estate?

By taking control of the estate administration, you, the financial adviser, can ensure that the capital built up, whilst the client was alive, is still managed appropriately after death.

As an adviser who can offer probate services to the family, you give peace of mind to the client as you have an established relationship with them. By offering these services you also have the ability to ring fences around the client’s assets and to assist with the beneficiaries’ investment needs when the administration is complete.

Offering estate administration services keeps continuity with the current and next generation of the family, as well as initiating new investment opportunities with beneficiaries. You will be keeping assets under your control for a longer period as you can keep the funds invested rather than en-cashing them across the board.

Offering your clients a full holistic service and seamless contact with just one professional also gives you an additional income stream.