Wealth Advisor Interviews: Questions Clients Should Ask
Jun 13, 2019
Martin M. Shenkman
A successful estate plan will often require as its foundation a successful financial
For example, with longevity risk if the client does not address long term financial
planning with an appropriate time frame, he or she might run out of money in later
years or face a significant and avoidable need to cut back lifestyle expenses. In other
instances, financial planning is an essential component of the estate planning itself.
For example, asset location decisions to maximize income and estate tax benefits of
a more sophisticated trust plan are critical to the success of that plan.
The bottom line is that for a myriad of reasons the likely success of an estate plan
may depend on having a financial advisor as a member of a collaborative planning
team. Surprisingly, even wealth clients may have not focused on a primary financial
advisor and have not had any financial professional acting as an integral part of their
planning team. Many clients have accounts randomly scattered at many different
institutions with no integrated plan. Rather than the attorney or CPA recommending
a single advisor, they might consider recommending three advisors, so that the client
can choose for themselves who they wish to work with. When this is done clients
frequently ask, “What do I ask wealth managers when we interview them?” The
following checklist is designed to help clients interview and select a wealth advisor
suitable for their needs. Since this checklist is generic it will often be advantageous
for the attorney or CPA making the referrals to tailor it somewhat to the clients
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