As you go through life, your personal finances get more and more complex. You switch jobs, merge finances with your spouse, have multiple investment accounts, property ownership, various financial and lifestyle goals, and much more. Add into the mix ever evolving tax laws, asset protection needs, and estate planning. You quickly realize you need to a team to support you.
How you form your personal finance team will be unique to you and you alone. You do not have the same needs as your parents, your neighbor, or your co-worker, so it is best to find what fits you. Below are a list of various professionals that should make up your team in one way or another. You may engage each professional individually and on different terms, but you should have one professional that is watching over the entire picture.
With a team that is working together and communicating regularly, you will know that your financial world is supported properly and you are doing everything you can to take care of yourself and your family. The professionals below are described in no particular order.
The financial planner brings a level of expertise to your personal finances that helps with every area of your finances. Often times, this will be your go-to professional with all things related to your financial life. The financial planner is uniquely able to see how a change in one area of your finances will affect the rest of your picture. Your financial planner will most likely be able to manage your investment portfolios as well. Their firm will either manage portfolios in house or outsource to another investment manager. Either way, the financial planner will be able to have constant oversight of your investment portfolios. Here at Lyndale Financial, we strongly believe in fee-only, fiduciary advice. This means your financial planner only accepts compensation directly from you and legally acts in your best interest at all times.
Staying on top of the tax code is a full time job in and of itself, a job that your accountant is trained to do. From filing your annual tax return to finding opportunities to save on taxes and grow your wealth, your accountant is an integral part of your team. Most individuals will try to find an accountant when they are trying to file their taxes. It is best to vet and find your accountant in the summer or fall so that you can create a working relationship and spot tax planning opportunities to take advantage of.
Every finalized estate plan requires the drafting of documents that only an attorney is able to draft. These documents have a legal impact on your finances in both how they are handled today and when you pass away. After you or a loved one passes away, a licensed attorney will be needed to assist in settling the estate. If you work or have investments in a unique area, like real estate, you may want to seek out an attorney that specializes in working with clients like you. This is the best way to make sure your assets are protected now and in the future.
Insurance will most likely have a place in everyone’s financial life. From life, health, disability, long-term care insurance, and more, you need a professional to assist with your needs. Insurance is needed to protect your assets today and potentially at death. An insurance professional will be able to customize an insurance plan to fulfill the needs of your financial life.
The services of a trust officer may not be needed for everyone, but are needed when a fiduciary is required to assist with trusts or complex business-related assets. You may want to consider hiring a trust officer when you or your family members do not have the time or expertise to properly manage the complexities of trusts and estate administration duties. In addition to assisting with the management of the trust or estate, a trust officer helps remove the conflicts of interest present when a family member is originally listed as the trustee.