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Investors Making Estate Plans

There is a split between investors who discuss estate plans with advisors and those who look elsewhere for estate planning advice.

| BY Kent McDill

Not all investors consider planning for the transfer of their estate when the time comes for wealth to move from one generation to another. Those that do consider estate planning, don’t always talk about it with their primary financial advisor.

Spectrem’s third quarter wealth segmentation series report Advisor Relationships and Changing Advisor Requirements explained how wealthy investors balance their interest in growing their portfolio against determining how their net worth will be distributed upon their death.

Spectrem asked wealthy investors whether they had done any estate planning, whether they made the plans with their financial advisor, and whether they plan to seek estate planning advice in the future if they have not already done so.

Perhaps it makes sense that wealthier investors have done more work already on estate planning, as the Spectrem data shows.

Among Millionaire investors with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million, 51 percent have established an estate plan, and 25 percent plan to discuss estate planning in the future. It is surprising that 24 percent of Millionaires claim they do not need estate planning advice.

Among Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million, 68 percent have already established an estate plan and 11 percent plan to seek that information in the future.

But who are these conversations being conducted with? A majority of affluent investors are more likely to discuss it with someone other than their advisor (perhaps an attorney or family member) than with their advisor.

Among Millionaires, more than half of those who have already made an estate plan did so with someone other than their primary advisor. The percentages of UHNW investors discussing estate planning with someone other than their primary advisor resemble those of Millionaires: 41 percent have discussed the topic with someone other than their advisor and 27 percent have done so with their primary financial professional.

Interestingly, some UHNW investors under the age of 49 seem to be biding their time when it comes to estate planning. While 14 percent have discussed the topic with their primary advisor and 25 percent have discussed estate planning with someone else, 29 percent are planning to seek the information sometime in the future.

About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.