Undoubtedly, just about every individual should create an estate plan as soon as feasibly possible. Many people harbor the misconception that an estate plan is only necessary for the rich or individuals with significant assets. As a result of this misconception, many people end up overlooking the assets they actually do possess because they believe that they don’t have an estate. All people, with very few exceptions, possess an estate and accordingly need an estate plan. If you’re creating an estate plan, here is some information about the role of a CPA in the estate planning process.
For starters, estate planning is best done with the help of a team of professionals working together. Some key players for an estate planning team include attorneys, investment advisors, insurance agents, bank trust officers, and CPAs, and hiring CPAs who have done their Ethics CPE course becomes an added bonus.
A CPA can bring his knowledge of taxes to the table to ensure you create a proper estate plan. Thanks to this intricate knowledge of taxes, a CPA will be able to tell you the tax implications of every decision you make. This will help you ensure that your estate plan minimizes the taxes and maximizes the portion of your estate that will be passed down to your beneficiaries.
Another way a CPA will be able to help you with the estate planning process is giving you reasonable future expectations for your estate. As stated above, many people don’t see the need of creating an estate plan because they don’t believe they have a sizable estate. However, it is possible that an estate of modest value today could become very significant by the time you die. A CPA can use their knowledge of market trends and finances to predict whether the value of your estate will increase, decrease, or stay the same a few decades down the line.
CPAs Help Clients Prevent Making Expensive and Costly Mistakes: CPAs have valuable tax and financial knowledge related to estate planning. By understanding the long- and short-term objectives of a client and applying their knowledge of estate planning, CPAs can help clients avoid costly mistakes.
CPAs Can Provide Ongoing and Valuable Planning Assistance: Estate planning mainly involves gifting, succession planning and valuation of assets. And thus, these processes may take a huge amount of your time and you will have to be more involved in the process. CPAs can help lighten this burden by providing valuable assistance.
CPAs Help Monitor Administrative Issues: A CPA can help monitor the trustees of family members. This way, the trust is completely and properly funded. The recordkeeping and trust annual reporting are also best administered by a CPA.
CPAs are Focused on Driving an Estate Planning Strategy: When you hire a CPA, he can simply coordinate with a client including an insurance professional to further provide a good flow of cash. He can also build a plan to help other assets become liquid, like creating a buyout plan between stakeholders and family members of a family business.
CPAs Keep You Educated: If nothing else, CPAs keep you educated about your options. If estate planning isn't' right for you, certainly it doesn't hurt to know more about succession planning, management, buyouts and liquidity analysis.
In conclusion, a great CPA can best introduce and administer your estate plan, be a nice buffer between family members, and can keep you abreast of the changing landscape of estate planning.
The intended executor of your estate will have a big job ahead of them. How prepared are they for their responsibilities? Most executors are unfamiliar with what they need to do and will have a lot of responsibilities during a difficult time. If you're proactive about working with them, you increase the likelihood that your wishes will be carried out and that everyone will have a smooth transition.
The CPA will develop a relationship with the executor so that the executor has someone to turn to with questions, and the CPA can provide practical help filing a final tax return, estate Forms 1041, or Schedules K-1.
My experience has taught me that a third potential role exists for CPAs: that of “trustee adviser.” Many of our clients choose to have family members as their fiduciaries. Of course these family members usually have no experience as a fiduciary and often do not have the time to devote to the role. I have found the role of advising these clients to be personally rewarding as well as an area of practice that we can also assist in.
Clearly, a CPA can be of much help during the planning stages for your estate. Want to learn more about what they can do to help in your particular circumstances? Start by joining a course at myCPE today. At myCPE we value your continuing education needs and constantly strive to bring to your attention the most updated content. At myCPE we have a wide range of free cpe cpa courses as well as specialized courses for your perusal.
To cover all your CPE estate planning requirements, we have a broad range of webinars specially designed for Estate Planning, and the best part is, it doesn't end there. Some of the trending CPE webinar for Estate Planning on myCPE are:
With a majority of CPAs opting myCPE for their estate planning CPE, we are one of the best online CE education providers. With our 1 credit = 1 meal scheme, rest assured, you aren't just getting credits, each and every credit of yours, makes sure you are donating a meal to the underprivileged. We look forward to seeing you on myCPE.
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The author Imtiaz Munshi is a Certified Public Accountant and CFO at Azstec, LLC. He is Business Strategist, Tax Planner, Entrepreneur and Advisor to "HNEs" (High Net Worth Entrepreneurs).