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Estate Planner vs. Financial Planner

A senior citizen signing a document.

Estate and financial planning are extremely significant when planning for your future, organizing your assets, and focusing on living a comfortable life after retirement.

But at what point do you need to talk to a financial or estate planner? Do you need to consult them at the same time? Is a financial planner and an estate planner the same thing? If they do not, who does what?

Let’s find out.

What is the role of a financial planner?

In simple terms, the role of financial planners is to help you put your financial goals (both short and long) in order. They do so by helping you create a detailed financial plan that includes a statement of your net worth, your profile risk, and your financial and retirement goals.

Additionally, they point you in the right direction by setting a road map for achieving every goal you have.

The right financial planner address all the concerns in the best way possible. So if you visit a financial planner and feel you have more questions than answers, you probably visited the wrong office.

What is the role of an estate planner?

Estate planners are simply lawyers who concentrate their practice on estate planning. They help you control the wealth financial planners have helped you accumulate. That includes helping you prepare a will and trusts to allocate your estate after death.

An estate planning attorney will evaluate your goals and help you create a reliable estate plan that minimizes taxes and secures your future and that of your family. They help you take any uncertainties out of your life at any stage.

Estate planners come in handy if you also need legal support because they understand state and federal laws well. You will find estate planners very beneficial when planning for uncertain future events.

Below are some areas where estate planners offer professional support:

  • Help avoid unnecessary tax: They can evaluate whether you and your spouse are using the credit shelter well to protect your heirs from future taxes after your death.
  • Unnecessary probate costs: The most common thing that results in probate is the titling of non-retirement assets with either a joint tenancy or a single name. Estate planning attorneys can help draft a revocable living trust that ensures your assets are well re-tilted. Talking to the right estate planner can stop your estate from going through probate, which can be very costly. One thing that can make probate very expensive is having out-of-state property not titled into your trust.

Estate planners and financial planners complement each other

There is a strong relationship between financial planners and estate planning attorneys despite having different roles. The work of one compliment that of the other. That means each need to know your progress. For example, your financial planner must be aware of your estate plan, and your estate planner must be aware of your financial plan.

What is not recommendable (we highly discourage you from doing that) is getting financial advice from an estate planner and entertaining financial planner advice on estate planning. This is because neither is insured to do the other’s job. 

As you can see, you need the assistance of both a financial planner and an estate planner when planning your future. They complement each other, and each plays a key role, and engaging them for only the tasks they are insured to do is crucial.