Daniel Hainsworth

26 May 2020

Marcus Hinkley on COVID-19 Wealth Structuring Trends

In his recent article, Private Client Services Director for Asia, Marcus Hinkley provides an insight into the latest COVID-19 Wealth Structuring Trends.

Author of article:

Marcus Hinkley

Head of Private Client Services - Asia

Since March 2020, I have watched with considerable interest to determine whether the COVID-19 crisis has been a motivator for wealth structuring or not. It is well regarded that a fear of loss – be it of one’s health or wealth are strong drivers for wealth structuring so you would think that the current crisis would significantly increase the level of interest in wealth planning. 

Whilst perhaps it is too early to draw conclusions on the level of interest in wealth planning arising from the COVID-19 crisis, an immediate observation is that there is a significant increase in the number of people who are drawing up their Will, Lasting Powers of Attorney and, for those with Trusts, amending their Memorandum of Wishes.

Although I have not seen or heard of a rush of HNWI trusts being established at this stage, there are clearly on-going conversations with those who were considering their options before the crisis. 

This could be for the following reasons:

  • Drawing up a Will is something which is probably considered urgent, straightforward, and inexpensive, whereas setting up a trust is a much bigger decision
  • Since setting up a Trust is a bigger financial decision and many HNWI will have experienced considerable financial loss, with remaining uncertainty about whether there will be further loss to follow, many will be nervous about spending money on trust solutions until the markets are on firmer footing
  • HNWI probably want to meet their advisor in person to discuss their options

Fear is often a driver for wealth planning, and if this holds true, once we can travel and meet clients, we ought to expect a strong rebound in wealth structuring services after this crisis is over

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