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What is the relationship between financial planning and estate planning?

Financial planning is not something everybody, or even most people, enjoy doing. This is especially the case when it comes to planning out financial matters surrounding death. The lack of financial planning around death wouldn't be such a big deal if most Americans were more or less financially prepared, but that isn't the case.

According to fairly recent studies, not only do most adults in America admit to having little or nothing by way of savings, the situation doesn't really change that much as Americans age. In fact, almost half of Americans die with very little savings to their name. This is particularly true of those who die single. Savings accounts are by no means the only asset Americans hold, but they are something of a barometer on the financial health of retired Americans.  

Sound financial planning requires ensuring there is enough accumulated wealth to live comfortably in retirement, but it also has implications for estate planning. Effective financial planning is an important aspect of estate planning, for several reasons:

  • It help reduce the drain on accumulated wealth that can happen in one's later years
  • It helps ensure there are more assets to pass on to loved ones and charities at death
  • It can help to reduce the liabilities for which one's estate is liable after death
  • It can help give one more options in terms of the tools and strategies one uses in estate planning

From this perspective, estate planning should involve not only working with an experienced attorney, but also with a financial planner. Working together, one can come up with a sound plan that meets one's needs and accomplishes one's personal goals.

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