A Message from the Multi-disciplinary Teaming
S. Mark Alton, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CAP®, AEP®, MSFS, CPWA®
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
What would you say constitutes "excellence" in estate planning? Is it
transferring maximum wealth, or is that just a means to an end? Is perpetuating
the family wealth, the family values and the family itself down through the
generations, and overcoming the "shirtsleeves" proverb necessary in order to
attain "excellence"? Either way, when estate planning is done most successfully,
it engages the services of a high-performance team of professionals who work in
close collaboration with one another.
To be a high-performance team, we believe that the team must have a common
purpose, and a shared process for collaboration that they can articulate out
loud. They must understand and address the interactions and interdependencies
between and among all the different professionals and their disciplines. They
must think strategically first, before implementing tactical strategies and
solutions. They must trust and respect one another, and communicate at a very
high level. In the end, they must tap into and harness the collective wisdom of
the group to create solutions that simply couldn't have been created by any one
of them working alone.
According to Patrick Lencioni, in "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team", teams
are inherently dysfunctional. What separates high-performance teams from other
teams is that they become consciously aware of their dysfunctions, and are
actively working on overcoming them.
High-performance teams understand the emotional process that governs families
of wealth, family enterprises and of course, professional advisory networks.
Observing and managing emotional process requires specialized skills and
expertise. Teams that perform at the highest level strive to separate the people
from the problem, and isolate relationship issues from the task at hand, dealing
with each on its own merits. In some cases, they may invite the participation of
a family systems coach to help the family build trust and communication, or to
develop a family wealth mission statement.
In some respects, high-performance is an ideal that we are all striving for,
but will never attain. Nevertheless, moving just a couple steps to the right on
the performance continuum can make a team, or a family, look all but
unrecognizable. Where are you, and your team(s), on the continuum? Where would
you like to be a year from now? Three years from now? Ten years from now?
One of the first steps you might want to consider is to pursue the
AEP® designation. The Accredited Estate
Planner® (AEP®) designation is the only graduate level specialization in estate
planning that requires its designees to commit to the team concept of estate
planning. More than anything else, this is what differentiates the AEP® from all
its other underlying designations. AEP®s understand the dynamic complexity of
our work, and the systemic nature of what we do. AEP®s know that teaming and
collaboration are requisite to providing "excellence" in estate planning.
We continue to encourage all of you to initiate substantive conversation
around teaming and collaboration, and please be aware that our committee is
looking for your valuable feedback. We will continue to share best practices, as
well as develop tools and resources for your reference. Please reference
www.naepc.org, under the "Guide
to Teaming" tab for further information.
Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series
Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series
was launched in September 2013 to provide estate planners with accessible, high
quality, multi-disciplinary education. Programs are available live and on-demand
and most often take place on the second Wednesday of each month at 3:00 pm ET.
Attendees can choose to register for individual programs, or for a series
The webinar series has grown considerably since our first event in September
2013. Attendance numbers increase at nearly every program, year-over-year
numbers show a significant increase in participation, and
annual subscriptions were
added during 2016. The 2017 schedule and annual subscriptions will be released
very soon—watch your email for details.
All at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Tricky GST Issues
David A. Handler, JD, AEP® (Distinguished)
Please note special date.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Top Ten Estate Planning and Estate Tax Developments of 2016
Ronald D. Aucutt, JD, AEP® (Distinguished)
Continuing education credit is available at each webinar for Accredited
Estate Planner® designees. In addition, a general certificate of completion will
be made available for those professionals who feel the program satisfies their
continuing education requirements and are able to self-file. It is the
responsibility of the attendee to determine whether their state, discipline, or
designation will allow one to self-file for a distance-learning program. Please
contact firstname.lastname@example.org prior to attending your first program if you have any
questions with regard to this policy.
NAEPC provides a diverse offering of Value Partners as a resource to you, a
member of an affiliated local estate planning council! Click on the links below
to browse the list by category, or see the
full list of