A Financial Advisor’s Role in Estate Planning

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Katie Camann
Katie Camann November 3, 2020

As Content Marketing Specialist, Katie drafts and edits content across multiple platforms, including blogs, Industry News, emails, videos, and social media. She conducts research and gathers up-to-date information to keep our clients well-informed.


When forming an estate plan, a financial advisor plays a crucial role. As a financial advisor, you are focused on the client’s finances, and you can help prevent important financial information and procedures from slipping through the cracks. Let’s explore some important aspects of a financial advisor’s role in the estate plan and how you can help clients plan for retirement and beyond.

How Does a Financial Advisor Help with Estate Planning?

Although you play an important role in the entire estate planning process, here are some of the most vital areas where you can help your clients as their financial advisor.

Retirement Planning

As a financial advisor, you can help set up 401(k)s, IRAs, and other retirement accounts for your clients as well as explain the tax benefits and beneficiary details for each one. You can also help them decide which type of account is best for their specific situation, financial goals, and budget.

Updating Beneficiaries

Since most estate plans involve investment accounts, retirement accounts, and insurance policies, all of which have beneficiary designations, it’s important that you ensure your clients keep these designations up to date. You can provide recommendations for adjusting beneficiaries after any significant life change, such as a divorce, remarriage, or death of a loved one.

Considering Significant Life Changes

In addition to affecting beneficiaries, a significant life change can also impact other pieces of your client’s estate plan. As their financial advisor, you can point out how these changes might affect their financial future and provide suggestions for adjusting their accounts, income, and the other financial pieces of their estate plan.

Planning for Long-Term Care

One of the most important aspects of an estate plan is long-term care. Some clients may plan ahead with trusts or Long-Term Care Insurance, while others might wait and conduct Medicaid planning once they need care. Either way, you can help by speaking to the financial ramifications of long-term care and helping them find a solution that works for their financial situation.

All in all, as their financial advisor, your role involves examining the financial impact of their estate plan and providing recommendations accordingly.

Other Important Professionals for Estate Planning

In addition to a financial advisor’s role in estate planning, other professionals also play important roles throughout the process. In many cases, you will work in tandem with these individuals to form an estate plan for your client. For starters, an attorney is crucial to provide necessary legal advice and documentation, such as power of attorney, for the client. Next, an insurance agent can help with any insurance products that may be included in the estate plan. It might also be helpful for your client to consult with a tax professional if their estate plan involves any potential tax consequences.

If you’d like to learn more about helping senior clients in the estate planning process and long-term care planning, specifically, reach out to our team at The Krause Agency.