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Making Difficult Conversations Easier

An effective estate plan depends on effective conversations with clients. CPAs can recommend investment strategies that simplify the estate planning process.

The subject of what to do with assets after retirement or death is an understandably difficult topic to address.  Upset family members, lost documents and the absence of the grantor after death are among some of the difficulties that tax professionals face.   But the ultimate difficulty lies in having the conversation in the first place.

Tax professionals loathe having these conversations since they can be easily misconstrued.  Clients may feel that the wealth transfer conversation is too personal.  Jealous or greedy family members can assume that the professional or another family member is making a play for their share, or clients may flat out not have a plan in place and they are embarrassed to talk about it.

A tax professional advising a client to allocate a portion of their assets for their wealth transfer purposes is very powerful.  The desire to help clients should overcome the fear that a client might reject the conversation and make no mistake, professionals should understand it is not easy for either party.

Besides an asset allocation strategy, investment methodology behind these investments also matter.  Providing an aggressive asset allocation may or may not be the best course of action, depending on the client.  But other important questions relating to methodology should be “What type of investments are my clients looking at?”  or “How will these investments help fulfill my client’s goals?”

Addressing these difficult questions now will help avoid more difficult questions later.  Mitigating risk and potential tax liabilities, helping clients leave more to their families and doing the right thing is enough to drive a tax professional to explore the topic of transferring wealth.  It is a conversation that they themselves might find themselves having with their own family in the future.

Did You Know...

4Thought helps tax professionals have an easy time of difficult discussions.  Our financial planning experience ensures that your clients effectively title, protect and transfer their assets, avoiding any difficulties in the future.

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