I don’t know how many times I hear “it’s a very simple situation, I don’t own anything so I don’t really need advice, I can do this myself”, only to have the same people come back later when issues arise.
One thing I have learnt in my time whilst dealing with clients in financial trouble is that there are no standard, vanilla type jobs, ever!
Most good advisors have a general idea of how they expect things will run, identify risks areas, identify key stakeholders, set up good lines of communication, set expected timeframes etc. However, the key to achieving high-quality outcomes is looking deeper and finding those small things that if not fixed could end up becoming bigger problems.
I recently saw a person who wanted some advice on entering bankruptcy due to a failed business venture. This person had no personal assets except a cheap car and some household goods. Easy right?
After a lengthy talk about what insolvency means and how it could affect certain aspect of their lives, we uncovered that this person had a power of attorney for a very ill relative. This relative relied on them to pay bills and other expenses such as the payment to the nursing home they were residing at. In insolvency you are unable to exercise a power of attorney for a third party. In this case we advised that an alternate power of attorney be sought before any lodgment so that there would be no complications. This took some time as the relative was unable to just sign over a new power of attorney.
In the above case, if the ability to act as a power of attorney was lost, it would have caused significant problems for the ill relative and the family as a whole. Having this additional stress at that particular time would have felt overwhelming. A small piece of the bankruptcy legislation but a huge impact on the family.
Taking the time to do a full detailed review and understand each person’s individual circumstances is the key to achieving superior outcomes.