Strengthening the Planner/Attorney Team

Opiela, Nancy
October 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;Oct2004, Vol. 17 Issue 10, p44
Academic Journal
This article discusses the value of a financial planner/attorney team in the management of a client's estate planning. Mistakes can be avoided if planner and attorney work together to identify, prioritize, and implement a client's estate planning objectives. Planners and attorneys increasingly see the value of working together for the benefit of mutual clients. And like any worthwhile relationship, it takes effort. If there is a first step in establishing a successful working relationship, it may be to acknowledge the differences between the professions. Certified financial planner Gary Howard says the most fundamental distinction is that while planners look to build relationship-oriented, long-term alliances with clients, estate planning attorneys generally have task-based, short-term relationships with their clients. Other differences, from how attorneys and planners market their practices to how they are compensated, can complicate the working relationship, but planners and attorneys alike report those differences can be managed easily with a little mutual respect. Most attorneys welcome a financial planner as an important link between the attorney and the client. But the biggest frustration planners and attorneys share is procrastination on the client's end.


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