When an unexpected event happens and the consequences have been tragic or were potentially tragic, you will hear immediate reports that an enquiry of some sort has been instructed. During this enquiry all sorts of probing questions are asked:
- When were the last checks or reviews done?
- Had proper maintenance taken place?
- Did anyone know that there was a potential problem?
- Who was responsible for checking or maintaining?
- Was there a faulty part or failing in some process etc etc.
The thing about this kind of an enquiry is that it is always an enquiry after the event. Nothing can be done to undo the tragedy, the clock can’t be turned back. The only hope is that lessons are learnt and that future tragedies can be avoided.
I give this brief context to the phrase enquiry after the event to help explain why I often use it during client meetings. After discussing objectives and making some suggestions that are fundamental to creating a sound financial plan, I’ve been known to say: “you see, I don’t want there to be an enquiry after the event with any of my clients”.
If a husband, wife, father or mother dies prematurely, I don’t want the surviving spouse or children to have an enquiry after the event – asking questions like:
- Wasn’t there any life cover?
- Shouldn’t there have been more life assurance?
- Who should have advised my spouse, father or mother to adequately protect the family?
If the beneficiaries of an estate are landed with a nasty demand for tax, I don’t want the beneficiaries at an enquiry after the event to ask:
- Couldn’t this have been avoided? Or
- Why didn’t my parents plan for this or
- Who were their financial planners?
When clients arrive at retirement and realise that they can’t afford to fund their desired lifestyle, I don’t want there to be an enquiry after the event! You get the picture.
You see, the questions asked at an enquiry after the event are normally being asked too late. It’s far better to ask the questions earlier to avoid having to ask them when it’s too late.
Question: What do you need to do to avoid an enquiry after the event?
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are those of the author only and are not necessarily those of I Planning Wealth Management Ltd. All material in this post should be considered as general information only and should in no way be construed as a recommendation of a specific product or course of action. Each circumstance is different and professional advice tailored to your circumstances should be sought from a qualified financial adviser.