Tony Cohen, Director of Nsure Estate Planning Services hosted his first Institute of Professional Willwriters regional meeting on Tuesday 16th April since being appointed southern regional coordinator for the IPW.

The well attended event was held in Worthing at Nsure headquarters in their own conference suite.

The meeting consisted of three speakers, Nigel Merchant from Kings Court Trust, Dennis Phillips from Buckles Solicitors and Richard Cohen from Nsure Charterd Financial Planners. It was really important to Tony when arranging the agenda that it consisted of speakers whose topics amounted towards attendees’ annual CPD targets in order to make the meetings really worthwhile.

The first speaker of the day was Richard who was discussing Estate Planning from a financial services perspective. Richard’s insight into how you can really help make your clients finances work for them was incredibly helpful. In fact, when discussing the underused benefits of pension contributions for grandchildren, their was an audible gasp from the attendees when they saw the potential long term benefits! Based on the feedback received on Richard he will be speaking again at future meetings as attendees would like to hear more- a success!

Dennis Phillips from Buckles Solicitors took to the floor and gave a fascinating insight into the intricate workings of French and Spanish inheritance law. He discussed with attendees the importance of covering immovable assets in a Will written in accordance with the relevant country’s legal framework and the difficulties often faced when this hasn’t happened. Dennis also clearly explained the rules of Heirship and succession for Spain and France. Attendees found the difference between the freedoms that we have in England versus the restrictions faced by those in France or Spain striking. Dennis’s talk was well worth listening to as so many of us meet clients with foreign assets.

The final speaker of the day was Nigel Merchant from Kings Court Trust who had traveled from Bath to attend the meeting. Nigel took us through the difficulties faced when trying to get poorly drafted or executed Wills through probate. His talk really highlighted the importance of getting crystal clear instructions from clients and making sure that clients understand that being transparent when asked about their circumstances by their practitioner is imperative if they want to avoid messy disputes for their families when they have passed away. Whilst Nigel’s experiences were darkly humorous in places, it was abundantly clear how much easier the often emotional probate process could be with a perfectly drafted and executed Will in place, along with detailed back office notes.

Feedback from attendees such as Emily Dornan owner of Brighton based Cloveroaks Wills and Estate Planning was that it was an ‘’Excellent meeting, great to have something so close to me’’, Catherine Sawbridge from Shortland and Sawbridge said that it was an ‘‘ excellent day. Very worthwhile’’. Other comments were that the event was very well run, the speakers were fantastic and informative. Speaker Nigel commented ‘’The facility is great for IPW meetings as the room is big enough for maybe 50 people but is also just the right size to be business-like and allows networking etc. The food was the best I have seen at events that I travel up and down the country to so please pass on my thanks’’.

Going forward as Regional Coordinator Tony hopes to grow the IPW membership in the south, he was greatly encouraged by the members who attended the meeting and by those who gave their apologies- all of whom hope to see the IPW begin to really thrive in the South. A greater southern IPW presence benefits members and of course our clients, we can work together to achieve this.