Our client values
At Succession & Estate Planners, we pay particular attention to, what we term, client structuring. So what does this mean? Let us give you a few examples:
- If you are running your own business, ensuring that your insurances are structured correctly to compliment your business structures (e.g. if your business is operating through a family discretionary trust, is your income protection policy also owned within that trust or is it owned in your own name?). The difference at claim time, from a taxation point of view, can be quite staggering.
- If you have superannuation and/or life insurance, will the proceeds on death be paid directly to your spouse (and into a taxed environment), or are you utilising tax-effective options such as Death Benefit Pensions and/or Testamentary Trusts?
- Did the solicitor who drafted your will take into consideration any/all of the following: Assets owned inside your trusts & companies? Who the new Appointor and/or Trustee of your Family Trust will be should you pass away? Your superannuation fund & how your beneficiaries are structured? Guardianship of the children? Enduring Powers of Attorney & Health Directives? Did that Solicitor actually communicate with your Accountant & Financial Planner before preparing the documents or do you have the ‘one shoe size fits all’?
- Did you purchase your insurances on-line? Was it a really simple process? Do you know why it was so simple? It’s because most of these companies do the underwriting of their insurance contacts at the time of claim, not at the time of application so good luck if you accidentally forgot to disclose something. We do the opposite, in fact we are pedantic with obtaining all of the appropriate information including doctor’s reports, relevant Medicare reports, financials etc. during the application process so that your money is paid to you quickly & efficiently when you need to make a claim.
Craig & his team know just how frustrating it can be when dealing with large financial institutions, particularly at claim time! Craig’s team handles, on average, one claim every fortnight. In fact, Craig has been through the claim process personally after breaking his back in December 2007, so he & his team know only too well what is required to ensure that insurance benefits are paid quickly & with a minimum of fuss.
Our business values
When you have been in the financial services industry for almost 30 years, & running your own practice for nearly 20 years, you have the benefit of experiencing a myriad of situations:- changes in Government; changes in legislation & taxation; the collapse of major financial institutions & the birth of new conglomerates to take their place; boom & bust markets, & who will ever forget the Global Financial Crisis? Plus, the never-ending advancements in technology.
You witness close business colleagues & friends celebrating their successes, whilst others mourn their losses as they hand over their life’s work to the appointed Administrators.
The emotional roller-coaster continues when you see the joy that a newborn brings to a family, or the heart-wrenching sorrow that envelopes a family when a loved one is taken away.
In those 30 years however there has been one ‘deal-breaker’ that has remained constant for us, & that is dishonesty. We have witnessed varying levels of dishonesty with one or two financial institutions, the odd business and/or referral partner, & a handful of clients & staff, & our level of tolerance for those who are dishonest is zero.
Assuming that most financial institutions, corporations, & individuals alike also view honesty as a vital ingredient to establishing & maintaining a relationship, then our door will always be open to those who share the same values.