What You Need to Know
- April Rosenberry says too many planners rush through the asset funding stage.
- One place to look for problems is beneficiary designations.
- Another potential threat: Business titling.
April Rosenberry would like to see someone inspect the details when you help clients with trust and estate planning.
“Time and time again, I have seen assets merely listed in an estate or trust document,” Rosenberry said in a recent email interview. “But merely listing an asset is not enough.”
Rosenberry, the director of estate planning at EP Wealth Advisors, said financial advisors, life insurance agents and others need to think hard about “asset funding,” or ensuring that each of the assets listed in a planning document is titled and set up in accordance with the client’s planning wishes.
“Asset funding is just the tip of the iceberg of all the easy-to-implement ideas for estate planning,” she said. “Having a proactive check-in with a client to discuss asset funding takes little time and yet has the potential to make a huge, positive impact.”
What It Means
Many stressful rounds of trust litigation are the result of asset funding failures, Rosenberry warned.
“Having an account or asset pay out to an unintended beneficiary, or being trapped in the court’s probate system, can be devastating to a client,” she said.
Rosenberry has a master of laws degree in taxation from the University of San Diego.
She started out in financial advice services as an associate tax specialist at KPMG US in 1999. Since then, she has run her own law firm, worked as a vice president at Wells Fargo’s private client arm, and served as managing attorney for estates and taxation at a law firm near San Diego.
She joined EP Wealth Advisors in 2021.