This year I set out to write articles on the subject of paying for financial advice and last month I rounded off the series by talking about the selection of an adviser.

I am now considering the question Is there more?  The answer to the question is that in some instances there can be more.  If the client and the adviser build up a really good relationship and this relationship of trust can take years to establish, then there is more.

A financial adviser can become a real adviser to the whole family on all financial matters. If you consider the other professionals, the Solicitor and the Accountant the client only visits them for specific tasks such as the tax return or the purchase of a property. However the financial adviser is seeing the client on a regular basis and dealing with changes within the family. After a while the financial adviser can become a link between the client and the other professionals for example the adviser can provide all the end of tax year information to the Accountant or provide vital information to the Solicitor to prepare the will or complete the probate. Some firms of financial advisers go still further and actually offer in house Accountancy and Legal Services.

Even if you are working with a fairly new adviser he should regularly be reviewing the terms of your will with you and briefing the Solicitor on any changes which are needed. It is also vital that Lasting Powers of Attorney are set up. If you are to have a long term relationship with your adviser, there may come a time when you are unable to deal with your financial affairs yourself, a good adviser will have recommended that you appoint friends or members of your family to act for you in these circumstances and it is really useful if the financial adviser can meet your Attorneys and Executors so that he or she can work easily with them when the time comes.

If you have adult children, I suggest it is a good thing if they too meet the financial adviser. Their financial assets may be small at this time but in due course they will inherit capital and it is useful if they can start to work with the adviser to learn about financial planning. Making an appointment to see your financial adviser around Christmas time when the family are home is most probably a good idea and it is a good time of year to discuss the performance for the year.

October 2013