For generations, many individuals and families have been notorious for connecting their estate attorney, CPA and financial advisors only during times of conflict, confusion or urgency. Rarely are efforts made to introduce these professionals in an organized fashion for the sake of being proactive. The result is that individuals and families are forced to “build the engine” in regards to effort, information and advice. This can be exhausting, and most certainly, may cause quite a bit of important information to slip through the cracks. It could also keep attorneys, CPAs and financial advisors from doing their best work.

So what is the solution? Create and empower YOUR TEAM!

Start by introducing your team of professionals to each other. Open the channels of communication. By doing so, you will enable them to be proactive, timely and productive with the efforts they are making on your behalf. You might find that by doing so, you have created your own army of professionals that will not only be empowered to do their best work, but as a result, may naturally also hold each other accountable for their role in the success of your planning. All the gears in the management of your life should work and flow with precision. Your estate attorney, CPA and financial advisor are key people in that effort.  

Just a few things to expect from the professional relationship of your team:

  1. Financial Advisor: You will most likely speak to your financial advisor far more often than to your CPA and attorney. Be sure to communicate about what’s going on in your life, beyond just reviewing assets and the 30,000-ft general questions. Your advisor should be listening for things that might help with being proactive with your CPA and attorney. (e.g. marriage, divorce, birth of a child, desire to buy or sell a business, changes in relationships within the extended family, inheritance questions/issues, etc.). 
  2. CPA: Through comprehensive tax planning and preparation, your CPA may have tax advice that when communicated with your attorney and financial advisor in a timely manner, may lead you to make changes proactively that might benefit you in your tax planning. Being on the front-end of those needs might prove financially beneficial.
  3. Estate Attorney: Making sure you have all your legal affairs in order is paramount. Work with your attorney to insure you have the best estate planning in place for your needs. Having your attorney follow-through to your CPA and financial advisor is a critical step towards making sure that all your investments, insurance and other assets are titled and managed appropriately.

The bottom line is that by having your team of professionals work together, through open communication with each other, you have a far greater chance of having them work smarter, more timely and more efficiently…..all on your behalf.


1 – “Coordinate Your Advisor Team – How to get your financial advisor, CPA and attorney working together.” – Ross Hughes & Associates, CPAs.—spa-and-attorney-working-together.aspx
2 – “Can Your Financial Advsiors, Attorneys & Accountants Build You a Unifed Retirement Income Plan?” – Forbes Magazine, Personal Finance. Posted August 24, 2014.

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