Everyone knows that teamwork can be the secret to success. Whether you are in the workplace or on a sports team, people working together can usually achieve more than an individual working alone. It makes sense that the same is true for your personal estate and financial planning. You may have many different trusted advisors, but are they working together to help you reach your goals?
As you grow your wealth and reach personal milestones, you will find that you need to hire different advisors to assist you. If you (or they) see them merely as vendors of individual services rather than as members of your planning team, you may be missing out on the full benefit of their expertise. You know that income tax, retirement, investment and estate planning are all important elements. However, if you are doing each of these in a vacuum, then some parts of your plan may not be coordinated with the others. An integrated approach to estate and financial planning can lead to better results.
You can help foster a team approach by introducing your advisors and encouraging them to communicate with each other. This ensures that any important information is shared and everyone is on the same page. No one wants a jigsaw puzzle with a missing piece. Similarly, your investment advisor can provide critical information to your accountant
that enhances your year-end income tax planning. At the same time, your estate planning attorney can add details about your long-term goals and gifting plans that may affect your asset allocation or income tax strategies. This flow of information allows your advisors to be more proactive and develop creative strategies for you.
The following is an example of the team approach in action.
A couple in their late 50s opened new accounts at Boston Financial. At one of our initial meetings, we asked them about their outside advisors. We learned that they had a close relationship with their accountant and were currently working with him to reduce their income taxes. Their prior advisor had generated more gains than they had expected and this was a major concern for them. They also said that they had not met with their estate planning attorney in ten years and their insurance agent had retired. With the clients’ permission, we contacted their advisors and introduced ourselves.
By working with their accountant and understanding their complete tax picture, we were able to develop an asset allocation that was tax-sensitive and coordinated with the rest of their income tax planning. After we reviewed their current estate planning documents, we recommended that they meet with their attorney because amendments were required to address changes in state estate tax laws. Finally, we suggested that they meet with a new insurance agent to review their coverage. As their net worth grew, they had not increased their umbrella policy and were underinsured. In the end, the advisors were happy to be collaborating with each other and the clients were happy with the outcome.
Here at Boston Financial we believe that a team approach can be very productive and adds value to our relationship with you. We enjoy working with our clients’ other advisors because this integrated approach allows us to provide you with more meaningful advice. If you have any questions about this approach, please contact your advisor.
Boston Financial Management is a wealth management firm serving individuals, families and endowments. The combination of our independence, transparency, responsiveness, and quality-driven investment orientation results in the outcome we are solely and wholly focused on – your financial well-being.
Important: This alert does not contain any legal or tax advice. You should always consult with your attorney, accountant or other professional advisors before changing or implementing any tax, investment or estate planning strategy.
IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: Pursuant to IRS Regulations, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax related penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.