Straits Times: Safeguarding Legacies
Media appearances: Consider a career as an estate planner, a specialised field in the finance industry
Estate planning is not a very mature field in the financial industry in Singapore and this is precisely why there are a lot of opportunities for growth in this area.
The number of wealthy individuals in Asia has surged in recent years, resulting in a heightened demand for estate planning services.
What is estate planning?
As the most intricate and complex aspect of financial planning, estate planning, at its core, helps people plan for how their assets, such as property, business and cash — should be distributed in the event of their death. Far from being morbid, it is actually a very important and often neglected element in a person’s life.
It is a very systematic process in which clients have a detailed discussion with a qualified estate planner about their dreams and goals, and what they wish to leave behind for their families to ensure their loved ones are well provided for when they are no longer around. It is also about creating and leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.
Through a very comprehensive and personalised one-on-one approach, estate planners give individuals a clear picture of their estate and map out a financial plan for them to achieve those dreams and goals.
Importantly, they have the expertise to safeguard the estate from potential issues that may arise, and make sure these goals for their family will not be jeopardised in the event of the client’s death.
Tools of the trade
Estate planning entails a high degree of specialised knowledge in various financial tools as well as a sound understanding of family law, Intestate Succession Acts, probate, trust and so on.
Depending on clients’ needs, estate planners will administer a number of financial tools to help the clients achieve their goals. These include insurance coverage —for death, critical illness, disability, loss of income — to protect their assets, and tools to grow, create or even “double” their wealth in order to leave a legacy for future generations.
Will planning is another crucial pillar of estate planning, as it outlines how the person’s estate will be distributed upon death. Depending on a person’s situation, a testamentary trust may be created through a will to better protect and preserve one’s estate.
This is especially important where the beneficiaries in the will are young children or mentally incapacitated or physically disabled individuals.