Our Expert Panel – Autumn 2009

 

Like most everything else in our practice, our process has evolved over the years. I want to communicate to you a recent change to our process that you may not be aware of; as it takes place in your absence.

But first, some background: When I began in the financial planning profession in 1982, things were simpler. Most clients could rely upon the advice of one trusted advisor, and be confident that he or she had an in-depth knowledge of all the important areas. Investments and Insurance were relatively simple, as was the income tax code.

But somewhere along the way things got complicated; very complicated. A few hundred investments selections turned into tens of thousands of investment selections. An entire array of share classes with different fee structures was born.

ETFs were invented, as were derivatives, structured notes, alternative asset classes, TIPS, and CMOs. Universal Life, Variable Life, Single Pay Life, and Long Term Care Insurance came on the scene. The income tax code became a monster, and the rules began to change yearly. The new rules spawned 401ks, Roth IRAs, Roth conversions, and a host of other retirement plans and strategies. The estate and gift tax laws evolved and began to change yearly as well.

Complicated trusts were written to combat estate tax and probate, and to give to charity on a tax advantaged basis, among other concerns. Over time we became aware of the fact that no one person could be an expert in all of these areas. In order to give

quality advice we needed to rely upon specialists in a number of fields. In order to accomplish this, we identified who we believe are the top advisors in various disciplines and convened an expert panel.

We meet with our panel quarterly to review client cases, and from those meetings come advanced planning recommendations that we bring to you. The panel consists of a private client lawyer, a CPA, an advanced insurance specialist, and other specialists who we bring in to address special situations. We maintain our core expertise in financial planning and wealth management and a broad knowledge of the advanced planning areas; but we rely upon the experts for detailed guidance and implementation in the advanced planning areas.

Some of the issues that the panel addresses include estate tax mitigation, complex income tax and capital gains solutions, unwinding concentrated securities positions, protection from lawsuit, effective Charitable giving, and tax favored capital transfers. The entire resources of our firm are available to you. Don’t hesitate to ask if you need help with any financial objective, no matter how complex.

Disclaimer: For tax and legal advice please talk to a tax advisor and attorney respectively.

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