The holiday season is upon us, which means spending time with those nearest and dearest and looking ahead to a new year. It is a time when we all take stock of what truly matters in our lives and the pride we take in our families. So what better time to demonstrate that pride by making sure your financial affairs and those of your clients are in order? There is no time like the present to ensure your wishes are understood and your dreams for the next generation are realized.

Consider life insurance, for example. It provides client’s heirs with the confidence and peace of mind that there will be a legacy that is free of income tax, capital gains tax and, when properly structured, estate tax. What a legacy to leave as a lasting lesson and message for their children to follow. As Mark Twain put it, “People who die without life insurance should have to come back and clean up the mess they left behind.” Your clients will have peace of mind while alive, and their beneficiaries will feel the same at the time of their passing.

Including long-term planning
As you encourage your clients to reflect on their priorities this time of year and what they hope to leave for their surviving family members, be sure to address the possibility of needing extensive medical care as they age and the potential burden that places on family members. Long-term care insurance is another significant element of any financial plan. Purchasing LTCI ensures individuals receive the care they need–whether at home or in a nursing home–without unraveling the financial portfolio of a spouse or family member.

If you create a comfortable environment for clients to speak about their legacy and then help them organize and communicate it to loved ones, they begin to see for themselves where the financial gaps are between what they want and what they have in place. And you become the person your clients depend on to remind them to slow down and prioritize their lives.

Finally, to maximize your value to your clients, particularly baby boomers who are focused most intently on legacy planning, learn what they need and expect of an advisor. The Million Dollar Round Table recently conducted the Generational Financial Confidence Study with the Boomer Project and uncovered key takeaways from the study that can be broken down to what consumers are thinking and what to do about it. To learn more, visit the complete report and other resources at www.mdrt.org/generationalfinancialconfidencestudy.asp.