Estate planning attorneys in California are accustomed to working with a client's financial advisor to obtain information helpful to designing the estate plan with the client. For persons who are contemplating associating with a financial advisor for mapping out a future financial plan, there are various subjects to inquire about before making a commitment. Estate planning attorneys may at times be able to assist the client in determining how to find a qualified financial advisor.
Because the term financial advisor is generic, it is not enough to qualify someone to assist in a financial plan. Anyone can say they are a financial advisor. It is best to choose an advisor who has a recognized designation, such as a CFP, which is a Certified Financial Planner. This person must have a college degree, specialized training and pass standardized tests in the industry. A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is also educated and must pass various examinations, with an emphasis on investments.
A Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, is a tax consultant who traditionally helps people with their tax returns. There are specialties within this category that one should investigate to obtain the full range of the person's qualifications. A CLU is a Chartered Life Underwriter, which generally means that he or she can help with life insurance and estate planning.
There are different ways that a financial advisor is compensated. This can be "fee-only," which indicates that the fee is known and established ahead of time. Some advisors work only on commission, and others use a hybrid system. Most of the advisors at the large major brokers are hybrid advisors, which allows them to charge commissions and established fees.
The estate planning attorney in California may be a good source for information on financial advisors. The advisor must be carefully screened and his or her qualifications confirmed. Also, it must be determined what protections he or she provides to the public. The advisor may be a valuable asset on one's financial team, but do not venture forward without being fully informed and knowledgeable on the person's qualifications and experience.