Elizabeth Thomson of ICS TRUST explains why it is so important for families and individuals to have in place an estate plan, and looks at some of the problems which arise from not being prepared.
Date: Dec 2011
However, looking at the changes in Hong Kong, for example, in terms of the practices built up and the number of private bankers working with family offices, this indicates a big change.
In recent meetings Thomson said she had in China, all clients wanted to talk about was assets held in a BVI company.
Common misconceptions about estate planning
She said most people like to think they will live forever and so don’t need to focus on this. For example, some people might think that life insurance is all they need.
Plus, in Hong Kong, for example, the absence of estate duty alleviates the pressure on individuals to look at an estate plan more seriously.
A further challenge that individuals face, added Thomson, is knowing who they should contact to discuss estate planning with.
Pitfalls of not having an estate plan
According to Thomson, the amount of paperwork that needs to be done if somebody dies intestate is significant.
This is especially relevant in cases where people might die in an accident or suddenly and therefore their wishes might not be carried out.