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By David GordonDirector, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

When your clients contemplate their taxes, do they think of an individual (e.g., their CPAs) or a team? We believe the best served clients have a tax team that includes their CPAs, their estate planning attorneys, you as their After-Tax Advisor, and possibly other advisors and information sources.

Although this may be an unofficial team convened for the specific purpose of achieving the best tax outcome for a particular client or family, it requires the kind of leadership you are in the best position to provide.

Consider the time horizon of an accountant preparing tax returns: It is short, spotlighting the current tax year and looking backward and forward a year or two. The estate planning attorney has a very long and uncertain time horizon: the completion of the client's life and the transfer of assets to heirs.

As an After-Tax Advisor, you are unconstrained by horizon as you consider the:

  • Past as a source of wealth
  • Present as an investment strategy
  • Near future as the client transitions from work to retirement
  • Distant future as the client's assets pass to heirs
  • Very distant future advising those heirs

As an After-Tax Advisor providing full balance sheet advice, it is important for you to lead your client's tax team.

Bottom line: Every client's tax team needs a leader who can set the strategy. As an After-Tax Advisor, you are the natural candidate.

tax forward