As an estate planning attorney, it is my job to counsel and advise clients. I am tasked with understanding how assets are structured and the tax implications on certain accounts or financial products. Understanding how these things work both practically and legally allows me to counsel clients on how best to structure an estate plan for a particular family. For example, a traditional Brokerage Account is going to be treated differently in an estate plan than an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), and even differently so than an Annuity or a Life Insurance Policy.
In my conversations with clients they will often ask questions such as, “Should I keep that life insurance policy?” or “Should I invest in something more conservative?” Those questions are reserved for financial advisors and planners. The connection between estate planners and financial planners is an important one. Operating individually from each other, they cannot fully serve the needs of their clients. An estate planning attorney will not know that a client’s investments are totally wrong for their risk tolerance just by looking at brokerage statement. On the other hand, a financial advisor will not know the best tool or mechanism to protect an IRA for a minor beneficiary to exert the most control while saving the most in possible income taxes.
The creation of wealth is just as important as preserving that wealth for future generations. Many of my clients have their own financial advisor and I am happy to work with them through the estate planning and funding process. If they do not have a trusted financial advisor, I am happy to provide a referral. It is essential that the legal plan and financial plan work together to provide the ultimate outcome in creating peace of mind and preserving legacies.
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