As contributor Randy A. Fox explained in his article, Business Booming for Estate Planners, Giving Officers, seven out of 10 (71%) surveyed estate planners and planned giving officers expected their entities to grow in 2021. In fact, our research found two in five estate planners and giving officers (40%) expected to grow by double-digits in 2021 (i.e., 10% or greater topline revenue growth).
The reason, explained Fox, “is that they’re so darn busy.” To put that into perspective, our research found that less than three in 10 estate planners (29%) expected double-digit growth at this time a year ago.
Every spring we survey over 300 wealth advisors, CPAs and estate planners in partnership with The Financial Awareness Foundation, CPA Trendlines and The Investments & Wealth Institute. The purpose of the annual CPA/Wealth Advisor Confidence Survey™ is to gauge advisor sentiment about their growth prospects, to learn what’s keeping them up at night and to discover which tactics and strategies they’re using to distinguish themselves from the pack.
Fox said he wasn’t surprised by our findings. “Potential tax upheaval and likely lowering of the estate tax exemption is driving more clients to planners’ doors,” wrote Fox. He also said COVID-19 woke up a lot of people to the fragility of life. “When we see 40-year-old friends and 30-year-old coworkers dying in the hospital, there’s a heightened sense of one’s own mortality,” Fox noted, adding that everyone knows someone who died unexpectedly or was in crisis mode during the darkest days of the pandemic. “It’s especially sad to see young and middle-aged adults gravely ill in the hospital without having health care powers of attorney identified. Talk about a huge wakeup call,” Fox stated.
According to our research, nearly two-thirds of estate planners and planned giving officers (62%) felt the majority of clients didn’t have up-to-date estate and gift plans when they first started working with them. “That’s sobering when you consider the affluence of people who tend to work with estate planners and planned giving officers,” observed Fox. “What does that mean for the rest of America?”.
Request an advance copy of our 2021 survey findings here. Report will be ready in May.
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