Choosing a CPA to Meet Your Estate Planning Needs

On this episode of A Wiser Retirement Podcast, Casey Smith is joined by guest, Jordan Sute, CPA, from Sute CPAs. Jordan has been a guest on our podcast many times now. They talk about how to choose a certified public accountant (CPA) to meet your estate planning needs. They also explain why a CPA is important, what to look for in a CPA, some red flags, and how a CPA can be beneficial to your team.

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Why do you need a CPA?

When it comes to legacy planning, taxes become very complicated. It gets even more complicated with changes to tax laws. Therefore, it is important to have somebody who is knowledgeable and can give you good advice in times of need. A CPA can also mitigate risk and keep you accountable.

Have a Team that Works in Your Best Interest

Jordan explains that it is beneficial to have a full team so you can make the correct decisions based on all the factors. A financial advisor can help show CPAs the full picture and a CPA can help explain taxes to an advisor. It’s a beneficial relationship that fosters education on both ends. This goes for other members of the team as well, like attorneys.

Beware of Annuities

The truth is if you pay into an annuity, you are never guaranteed to lose or make money. An annuity is tax-deferred while you’re living, but when you pass away, it’s a different story. Unfortunately, with annuities, tax burdens fall into the next generation because of the income tax. This could harm your family’s legacy. Try to stay away from annuities and set the next generation up for success!

Red Flags and What to Look for in a CPA

The biggest red flag while meeting with a CPA is if a CPA is not thinking about the full planning process and they are only wanting you to fill out the forms. It is important to choose a CPA who wants to get to know you and learn about your full financial position. A good CPA will ask about your goals, your family, and your financial team. Someone who sees the full picture will be able to recommend good tax advice. Some qualities to look for in a CPA is someone who has advanced industry knowledge, is there for you year-round versus just during tax season, and can give personalized advice based on your needs.

What is the average person missing by not using a CPA?

People who don’t have a CPA are missing out on the planning process. If they don’t have a CPA, they don’t have someone to help them stay on top of tax deductions, credits, or planning ideas. Online tax filing sites, like TurboTax, can’t give you everything a CPA can. It is important to have a CPA who has plenty of experience and can give you sound advice before you file or owe on your tax return.

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2:37 Why do you need a CPA?

4:10 or 16:53 Have a Team that Works in Your Best Interest

8:16 Beware of Annuities

9:19 Red Flags and What to Look for in a CPA

12:25 What is the average person missing by not using a CPA?

15:45 Planning Adds Value


Learn more about Casey Smith and connect with him on Twitter.

Learn more about Jordan Sute, CPA.


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Learn more about A Wiser Retirement podcast and access previous episodes.


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