My previous blog touched on the subject of understanding that your advisor is legally required to take continuing education to maintain their licence or registration but in this instance, there is no obligation for an advisor to have a Succession Plan and you may be the one that suffers the consequence!
Any financial advisor will preach the importance to any business owner about having a proper plan that is properly funded to ensure that they, their family, their employees and their customers are protected in the event they can’t work anymore. For some reason, customers come last but should that be the case for financial advisors? Certainly each advisor has the right (and obligation) to ensure that they and their family are properly protected in the event something happens that leave the advisor unable to work – that is just common sense. However, don’t you as a client/consumer/customer have the right to ask your advisor that question – with the added caveat of “if you aren’t here, who is going to look after my accounts and ensure my plans are achieved?”
After all, you have trusted your advisor with probably more information about yourself, your family, your business, your health – than anyone else with the possible exception of your spouse! You have allowed them to put in place for you a long-term plan so you and your family can achieve your goals – but if they aren’t in the business – then what? Don’t you want to know they have a plan in place to bring on a new advisor to take over and still ensure your goals are met – if they are sick, critically injured, retire or pass away? Are you prepared to start again from scratch with another advisor? You spent a lot of time and energy developing that trust – do you want to go through that again?
I urge you to ask your advisor about their plans. Ask to meet their planned successor. Satisfy YOURSELF that you are dealing with an advisor who truly has their “act together” and follows the same advice they may have given you.
No-one is immune to the risks of life and nothing will ever be 100% certain however you have an obligation to yourself to ensure that you have an advisor who believes in following their own advice to clients. You can’t abdicate that responsibility!