Simple Steps to Successful Estate Planning for your ClienteleSubmitted by American Endowment Foundation on March 6th, 2017
By Eric Kinaitis
A opinion piece on death planning in the financial services industry underscored a point: no one likes thinking about our ultimate end.
However, as a financial planner or advisor, being able to embrace this difficult topic may prove to be a niche that can set your practice apart and provide a valuable and holistic service to your clientele.
The related field of estate planning is a start. How many of your clients have a formal written estate plan?
If they do not, the following guidelines can prove to be a good starting point:
- What do they want to happen when they die?
- How will their assets get distributed? Family, friends, charity, etc.?
- Who will actually handle the estate?
- What concerns do they have about privacy or family harmony as it relates to their estate and the distribution of their assets?
- What is the financial value of the estate? Will it be affected by estate taxes?
Gather & Organize the Financial Data:
- Have they gathered all relevant documents?
- Have they determined their net worth?
- Have they reviewed their beneficiary designations? This point is extremely important and often overlooked. Beneficiary designations take precedence over instructions within a will.
- How is title held to property?
Analysis & Discussion:
- Is there a flowchart of their existing estate plan?
- Have all relevant strategies been reviewed? Which one is best?
- Building the estate plan.
Implementing the Estate Plan:
- Draft, review, edit and sign estate planning documents.
- Coordinate title to the properties and beneficiary selections with the estate plan.
- Where are the estate documents located? Does the person who is going to handle the estate know where these documents are located?
Tracking & Monitoring Progress of the Estate Plan:
- Is there a specific date on the calendar when you and your client will review their estate plan each year? Is your client aware that their estate plan should be reviewed any time their family situation changes (birth, death, divorce, etc.?)
In conjunction with The Financial Awareness Foundation, this comprehensive guide is an excellent tool for you and your client to engage in the estate planning process. Working together through this guide, you both will be able to organize a difficult task into a manageable one.
Contact or call us at 1-888-660-4508 and let us discuss how AEF, charitable planning, and donor advised funds can play a role in the estate planning process. We look forward to discussing your needs and interests in greater detail.