4th June 2024

4 minutes reading time

Blackfinch Adapt IHT Service: What can advisers expect before, during and after?

We call the Blackfinch Adapt IHT Service - our Inheritance Tax (IHT) solution – a ‘service’ because it’s so much more than just an investment. So, here’s a reminder of what advisers – and clients – can expect in terms of service, before, during and after you write business with us.

Before making the investment

There’s nothing worse than being left feeling ignored or forgotten about, and when it comes to talking to product providers, we know this is something advisers care strongly about. In fact, advisers have told us that sometimes they have had to wait days for product providers to respond to a simple query, and we don’t think that’s good enough.  

So, last year, we introduced our three-hour customer service level agreement. It’s one of the reasons why we won the FT Adviser Customer Experience Five-Star Award. It’s quite simple: When an adviser contacts Blackfinch with a query relating to a specific client issue, a product, or anything else, we promise to acknowledge that query within three hours. If we can’t deal with that query straight away, we’ll look into it, find the right person to deal with it, and respond to you as soon as we can.  

We know how important it is for advisers to know that someone is dealing with their query, especially if the client is expecting a reply from them, so we’ll do our absolute best to make sure we never leave you hanging.

We also understand how resource-draining it can be to prepare suitability reports for clients. To help we have ready-made draft letter templates to help reduce administrative pressure on you and your team.

And when it comes to making an application on behalf of a clients, we know how important it is that advisers get an experience that’s frictionless and pain-free. Applications can be made online and all client documents can be generated at the same time. We’ve streamlined the entire process to make it as smooth as possible.  

During the investment

We also recognise the importance of deploying funds quickly. For the Adapt IHT Service, the two-year ‘clock’ for Business Relief starts as soon as the investment is made, so we do our very best to achieve a swift deployment of funds so that the Business Relief qualification period begins. In 2023, the average time from receiving the completed application forms with the necessary documents and funds, to deploying the funds was just 1.59 working days.

Once the investment in the Adapt IHT Service is up and running, advisers and their clients can expect to receive regular updates on the performance of clients’ investments. We make it a point of principle to ensure our client communications are well presented, easy to understand, and informative without overcomplicating things or using too much industry jargon.

For advisers, all of this material is stored securely and readily available in one place: the Blackfinch Portal. This includes valuations, which can be easily created from the portal. And if you’re not near a computer, you can request a valuation over email or by phone from our Client Excellence team and it will still be available within 3 hours. 

After the investment

The Adapt IHT Service is designed to be owned by clients at the time of their death. As a result, we recognise that when the client passes away, our responsibilities and duty of care also include our dealings with the client’s beneficiaries. We strive to ensure we treat everyone concerned with compassion, empathy and understanding.

We will waive dealing fees, and if the death was within two years of the BR qualifying period start date we will also waive initial, additional and exit dealing fees. We will also help make sure beneficiaries are made aware of the options available to them, which could include selling or transferring the investment according to the executor’s instructions, or using some or all of the investment to settle an outstanding IHT bill by paying HMRC directly.

During what is likely to be an enormously stressful and emotionally difficult time for family members, having us take care of this challenging and potentially complex financial issue can be extremely helpful. It can help preserve the remainder of the client’s estate and be a welcome relief from an administrative perspective.

Above all, from start to finish, our aim is to make the entire Adapt IHT Service process as simple, straightforward and as sensitively-handled as we can. After all, that’s what a service should be.