The pandemic has exposed gaps in clients’ financial plans that need to be filled, according to Bryan Kirk, director of financial and estate planning at New York-based Fiduciary Trust International.

For instance, many people all across the economic spectrum have been shown they do not have the liquidity they need, Kirk said Wednesday during a roundtable discussion on trends the pandemic has set in motion that was sponsored by JConnelly public relations firm.

“People also do not know what their spending plans are because over the last 10 years they have not seen their accounts go down substantially and since February accounts went down dramatically before recovering ” with another wave of volatility possible before the end of the year, Kirk said.

Kirk said that many clients are not ready to do their estate planning. “They need to do the ground work now in order to pass those assets on to the next generation tax efficiently. Now is the time to do the planning and many are not ready,” he added.

End-of-life planning has come into new focus because of the pandemic, which is “a catalyst for change that drives people to look at these things,” agreed Stuart Riemer, managing director and partner at Treasury Partners at HighTower, based in New York City. “This is an immediate planning opportunity to look at intergenerational wealth before the higher estate assets exemption sunsets in 2025.”

The pandemic is prompting other reviews and revealing opportunities, according to Kenneth Van Leeuwen, managing director and founder of Van Leeuwen & Company, based in Princeton, N.J., which specializes in financial planning for business executives.

“Executives should be looking at exercising incentive stock options when stocks are low because they will be paying cash for the stocks,” Van Leeuwen said. “They also need to think about tax planning right now. Some clients may have tax loss harvesting opportunities they can take advantage of now.

“There also are planning opportunities around converting traditional IRAs to Roths, as long as you are considering the taxes your client will have to pay for the conversion,” Van Leeuwen said. “If there is a second wave of the pandemic, we do not know how that will affect clients’ portfolios” and clients need to be ready.”

In addition, sustainable investing has had a surge during the pandemic as people re-evaluate their life goals and investing goals, added Riemer. A significant shift is being made to positive sustainable investing, rather than just screening out unwanted investments, he said.

Kirk said that the pandemic has provided an opportunity for the philanthropically-minded to get money into the community and possibly to family members who need help now.

Clients are re-evaluating their risk tolerance because of the market volatility created by the pandemic, Kirk explained. “Technology available today that was not available 10 years ago allows advisors to run different scenarios” and to shift the client’s focus to particular objectives, rather than just numbers.

Advisors who helped clients plan before February when Covid-19 hit were able to act swiftly during the last few months when opportunities presented themselves due to the volatility, Kirk added.

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