We work closely with a financial advisor, who we recommend to any clients that ask for it. The financial advisor should work closely with us, to make sure that our respective plans are cohesive - that the plans work together. Here's a Guest Blog post from our favorite financial Advisor, Nathan Fox. If you want to meet with Nate, let us know and we can set it up.
The Roll of a Financial Advisor in Estate Planning.
By Nathan J Fox Financial Advisor
Estate and Financial planning are highly intertwined disciplines. It is imperative in this ever changing financial and estate environment that attorneys and financial advisors work together for their clients. Too often do these professionals work separately leaving critical gaps in the client’s plan. Seeking out attorneys that have established relationships with financial advisors will save the client time and money, as well as put the client in the best position to achieve their financial and estate planning goals. There are 5 key reasons why an estate attorney and financial advisor should work together on a client’s estate and financial plan.
- Convenience. Convenience is a big reason why clients should turn to law firms that work with financial advisors. In every estate planning case the attorney will have questions about the clients’ investments. Having a trusted financial advisor privy to this info allows for the client to spend less time tracking down their investments or worrying if they inadvertently omitted financial info. The advisor can provide the attorney with the most detailed and up to date info, which in turn cuts down the amount time needed to complete the plan. Time is money!
- Peace of mind. Clients are professionals in their own careers. They have families and as anyone can be overwhelmed by the vast amount of info out there on estate and financial planning. When two fiduciaries work together and agree on the client’s plan, the client is less likely to worry or be stressed. Clients are routinely nervous for good reason. An estate plan is often designed to make sure the people that matter most to this client are takin care of and protected. With two advisors, the client can feel even better about their future.
- Proactive planning approach. Clients often come in for an estate plan but do not have any clear written out financial plan. Without a clear financial plan for the attorney to understand, the estate planning process becomes less effective. There may be things in client’s finances that now need attention due to the estate plan that attorney can’t help with. This allows the law firm to be proactive with the client and refer them to the financial advisor to make sure the client is reaching their full potential with their financial plan. A great estate plan cannot exist in its best form without a solid written financial plan alongside it. As an example, if a client becomes bankrupt due their lack of financial planning, their Will may end being useless
- Trust. Trust is the cornerstone of a good business relationship and is earned over time. Trust is created in number of ways. A great way to earn a client’s trust is to work with them in a transparent team approach. An attorney who works with a financial advisor has access to that advisors’ entire team and vice versa. This puts the client in best position knowing that multiple professionals are here to serve them. It provides an additional level checks and balances that does put one person in too much control. Working together as team for the client will lead to better results and stronger trusting relationships
- Long term relationship. Estate and financial planning encompass long term goals. Life is unpredictable, and relationships change all the time. We cannot predict the future, but we can put ourselves in the best position for long term relationships to last. Communication is key to the health of any long-term relationship. When a client has two fiduciaries working towards their long-term goals, the communication and service with the client will almost always be better. Additionally, conducting regular annual reviews of both the estate and financial plan allow the client to continue to feel served. The combination of all these things keep a long-term trusting relationship healthy.
Attorney and advisor relationships on estate planning put clients in a superior planning position. Working with these professionals will lead to less ambiguity in the client’s future. Life is already unpredictable and unfair at times. The goal of working with both an estate attorney and financial advisor is to make sure clients can achieve their estate and financial goals in the more efficient manner. Death and taxes are a guarantee, but how much you pay and what happens when you die can be controlled.