3 easy steps to set your succession plan in order
Economic, political and social environments are in a constant state of flux. This is the new normal and in such times, optimizing investment performance, mitigating risk and managing cash flows of family assets is a challenging task. In addition, long-term preparation includes planning for the consequences of mortality. A succession plan for family wealth and the family business can go a long way in ensuring a structured transfer of wealth and control to the next generation.
Without a clear succession plan, and in the absence of a Will, there are likely to be conflicts and acrimony. The next generation will be scrambling to find financial records and prove ownership of assets. Add to that lengthy procedural and legal formalities in case of disputes or missing records.
You can’t take your money with you. But you can choose whether to keep your financial affairs in order. Start with some basic steps to avoid leaving behind a chaotic mess.
1. Consolidate asset and liability records
Scattered and disjointed records are the biggest challenge. The first step is to consolidate these by using a single platform to update and monitor your wealth. Select a technology platform that is secure, supports uploads and auto-syncs to reduce data entry, keeps information up-to-date and most importantly allows for aggregation of multiple classes of assets and liabilities:
- Liquid Investments – direct equity, mutual funds, bonds, bank balances etc.
- Real Estate – residential and commercial properties, real estate funds
- Private Investments – private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, direct investments etc
- Collectibles – art, jewellery, etc.
- Insurance – sum assured, general insurance
- Liabilities – credit cards, loans, mortgages, insurance premium
2. Fill in compliance gaps and assign nominees
Once consolidated records are in place, you can access a snapshot view of your assets and check if assets are held in single or multiple names and whether nominees have been registered or not. Based on this you can take action to add names, assign nominees or include clear instructions for inheritance of indivisible assets like real estate, jewellery, art, etc in your succession plan.
3. Maintain a secure digital record of important documents
Maintain soft copies of financial documents as a backup for the originals. A software platform like Asset Vantage allows you to store vital documents like your Will and important financial documents tagged to your entities or transactions for easy reference. You can also assign secure and selective access to your lawyers and accountants to retrieve this information as and when it’s needed.
Are you thinking, “I’ll take care of it later”? But you haven’t put off buying insurance, have you? Think of a succession plan as premium-free insurance for your loved ones. It will enable smooth transition, reduce costs and time to transfer assets thus ensuring greater flexibility and liquidity for your heirs.
Consolidating all your assets and liability records on a single technology platform gives you the added benefit of easily monitoring your wealth and enables financial decisions based on aggregated reports and insightful analytics.