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Planning for divorce - the missing piece of the wealth protection jigsaw

20th November 2018

Planning for divorce - the missing piece of the wealth protection jigsaw

Planning ahead for the financial consequences of divorce remains a missing piece in the wealth protection jigsaw puzzle.

That was the message given to a group of financial experts at a seminar organised by West Midlands’ law firm Higgs & Sons recently.

The Wealth Protection Seminar, held at Bar Opus in Birmingham, told accountants, private banks and Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) from the across the region that advice on nuptial agreements is still not being delivered to clients. Philip Barnsley, Partner and Head of Family at Higgs & Sons, said:

“Financial experts know exactly what it takes to protect the wealth of their clients… but what if an important piece of that wealth protection advice is missing?

“We asked accountants, financial advisers and other professionals working in the sector about the motivations and concerns of their clients. Whilst advisers are providing the right products and planning, there is still a lack of discussion around the consequences of divorce when it comes to wealth protection.

“Research undertaken with wealthy business owners in the USA* found that almost three quarters (72.5%) did not have a formal asset protection plan in place with regard to divorce. If the popularly held belief that America leads the way in the area of nuptial agreements is true, then it is likely that the percentage of wealthy people without protection in this country is much higher. That means the missing piece of the jigsaw in terms of wealth protection is potentially huge."

Philip concludes: “Our research clearly demonstrated that clients were motivated to seek advice in order to protect spouses and children, have control over their finances and look to succession planning, but they also expressed very real concerns about wealth protection.

“Without a carefully crafted, nuptial agreement in place, entered into with a full appreciation of the circumstances then these concerns will remain, because a crucial piece of the wealth protection jigsaw will always be missing.”

 

*Source: Russ Alan Prince and John J. Bowen Jr., Becoming Seriously Wealthy: How to Harness the Strategies of the Super Rich and the Ultra-Wealthy Business Owners, 2017.

 

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