5 Things a Financial Advisor Can Do to Help with Estate Planning


A financial advisor does more than just help you invest or plan for retirement—they also play a crucial role in estate planning. Without proper planning, your estate could end up distributed differently than you’d want and taking longer to reach your loved ones. By working with a professional estate planning financial advisor, you can ensure that your loved ones only have to deal with grief after your passing, not legal headaches.

What is estate planning?

Many people avoid estate planning because they don’t like thinking about their own death, but it’s an important part of managing your money. Estate planning means getting everything organized and deciding who gets what when you’re gone. It’s not just about property; it can involve taxes, charity, life insurance, and trusts for family. A will is the most common document used, and you might need help from experts like insurance agents, lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors to make your plan.

Why is estate planning important?

Estate planning is crucial because it’s the only way to make sure your wishes are followed after you’re gone. Without a will or other planning, your assets will be divided according to your state’s rules, which might not match what you want. If you die without a plan, the probate process can be long and expensive, taking up to several months and costing around $1,500, depending on factors like the state’s laws and the size of your estate.

Ways a Financial Advisor Can Help with Estate Planning

Financial advisors do the financial planning and estate planning after you’re gone. They have the expertise and can help you get ready, keep your estate safe, and make sure your family is taken care of. Here are some big reasons why financial advisors can be beneficial:

Divide Estate Among Specific Relatives and Friends

When you’re getting your estate plan together, a smart financial advisor can be a huge help. They’ll help you figure out who gets what—like your money, house, and even special things that mean a lot to you. They’re really good at understanding what each person in your family might need, like how much your niece might need for college or how your grandkids can pay off their house. Plus, if you think your family will still need help after you’re gone, you can set it up for the advisor to keep giving advice to the people you’ve left things to.

Ensure Your Family is Taken Cared For

Life can be uncertain for everyone, no matter how much money you have. It’s wise to talk to a financial advisor, especially if you’re young and healthy. They can help make sure you have the right insurance to take care of your family if something unexpected happens. A financial advisor can guide you in picking the right life insurance and figuring out how much your family would need if you were gone. They can also help you decide on extra options like long-term care coverage or accelerated death benefits.

You Have Specific Intentions for Your Estate

If you want to make sure your money is used as you wish after you’re gone, a financial advisor can help. They can team up with an estate planning lawyer to set up a trust for the funds, ensuring that they’re used exactly how you want, whether it’s for a disabled relative’s medical needs, a child’s education, or even your pet’s care.

Designate Someone to Make Medical Decisions for You

A financial advisor helps you get important papers ready for tough times or health emergencies. These papers include:

  • Living Will: Say what medical treatments you want if you can’t talk.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: Choose someone to make healthcare choices if you can’t.
  • Letter of Final Wishes: Tell your family how you want your burial, like if you prefer a religious service or cremation. You can also mention any specific funeral plans or prepaid arrangements.

Leave a Donation to a Non-Profit

Your financial advisor can help if you want to give some of your money to charity when you pass away. They’ll figure out the best way to do it. For instance, you could leave a set amount of money or a part of your estate to the charity. Or you could set up something like a yearly donation plan.

How to Find the Right Financial Advisor

Estate planning for financial advisors is part of their job. Look for a financial advisor who has experience in the industry and has worked with estate planning lawyers before. They’ll check your money plan for any problems, help you decide what to do first, and tell you about any costs involved in planning your estate.

When looking for a financial advisor:

  • Check their credentials and experience, like if they’re a certified financial planner (CFP) and how much they know about estate planning.
  • Read reviews from past clients and ask friends, family, or your tax advisor for recommendations.
  • Understand how they get paid; it’s best if they only charge fees and act in your best interest.
  • Make sure they explain things well, as estate planning can be tricky.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions during free consultations. If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t get clear answers, try someone else.

Start Estate Planning with a Financial Advisor Today

Estate planning might not be fun to think about. However, it’s essential for managing your money and taking care of your loved ones. Financial advisors can guide you through the process. They make sure your wishes are followed, your family is protected, and your legacy lives on. So take the first step today by reaching out to a qualified financial advisor. They’re the only ones who can help you plan for the future with confidence.


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