How CPAs Can Thrive in the New World of Estate Planning for Clients Under $10M Net Worth

Originally aired 10/21/2014

Seminar recording | Presentation material

ATRA changed the estate planning paradigm. With the new $5 million inflation adjusted exemption amount, few clients care about the federal estate tax. With a modicum of planning, couples with less than $10 million in net worth are unlikely to ever face an estate tax. Still, there are a host of new planning opportunities to serve clients profitably and even to expand services to existing and new clients. This new estate planning environment is a golden opportunity for practitioners to step more easily into the role of “trusted adviser.”


  • For most clients, income tax will be more significant than estate tax. CPAs have historically focused on income tax planning, while most estate planning attorneys have little background in the area. CPAs are poised to become the quarterback for most client estate planning teams in future years

  • Modern trusts are dramatically different than trusts from the past few decades. How will these trusts affect your planning for clients, tax compliance and more?
  • Five-million baby boomers a year are retiring. Baby boomers’ estate planning focus at the point of retirement will be assuring cash flow for decades of post-retirement life, protecting assets, and minimizing aging-process problems
  • The population is aging. Alzheimer’s currently affects more than five-million Americans, with numbers on the rise. Protecting clients and their families will create a new practice area for many CPAs. What concrete steps can practitioners take to protect these clients? What new services can be offered?
  • Elder financial abuse and identity theft were hardly heard of a few years ago. Now, these risks may be epidemic. What can you offer clients to protect them and give them peace of mind?
  • What can practitioners do to help clients benefit from existing estate planning techniques (bypass trusts, ILITs, QPRTs, FLPs, etc.) — all created when the tax laws were so different?
  • In addition to a practical and specific planning ideas, sample client letters and other practice materials will be provided


The reduced importance of the federal estate tax does not mean less planning, just different planning. Will you capture your share of this growing market?