February 24, 2019


Should you become a CWPP™ or CAPP™?

First, if you are an advisor who has high net worth/income clients (or if you are an advisor that would like to cultivate such a client base), you can learn many new topics and ways to help those clients by sitting for your CWPP™ certification.  By learning the topics covered in the certification course and becoming much more well rounded, advisors can use the topics learned to grow their business and increase the profitability of either an hourly billing firm (CPA, accountant, attorney) or a commission-based business (insurance agency, financial planning firm, real estate broker).

Second, in this world where perception is reality, it is very important that clients (current and potential) know that their advisors have done something different to educate themselves in their field.  An accredited certification helps set advisors apart from other competitors; and it is very powerful to have CWPP™ following your name on business letterhead, business cards, and/or on a web-site.  For example, there are hundreds of CPAs, attorneys and insurance agents in any mid-size town in this country.  How is a client (personal or business) supposed to differentiate their CPA, attorney, or insurance agent from the others in the area?   A CWPP™ is a powerful way to illustrate to clients that you are different because you took the time to complete a CWPP™ course.

See if you think there is a difference in the following names:

John Q. Smith, CPA                                       Barry M. Kay (insurance agent)

John Q. Smith, CPA, CWPP™                        Barry M. Kay, CWPP™

Steve L. Anderson, J.D.                                Mitchell R. Armstrong (accountant)

Steve L. Anderson, J.D., CWPP™                  Mitchell R. Armstrong, CWPP™

Sandy Steiner, (real estate agent)

Sandy Steiner, CWPP™

If a high income/net worth client is going to trust one of the above-listed professionals in their field, which advisor would have a leg up on that competition?   We at the WPI believe the advisors with the CWPP™ should certainly win that competition because of superior knowledge on “advanced” planning topics, but we also believe that the fact the advisors have a CWPP™ will be an immeasurable help.

Think about the following question when considering if you can benefit from a certification course through the WPI:

Can ANY client’s estate or financial plan be complete if the plan does not also address the problems of asset protection?

We at the WPI believe the answer is an emphatic NO.

Think about the following fact scenario:

Dr. Smith, who is age 55 and lives in Tennessee, goes into a local law firm to implement the finest estate plan he can buy.  His goal is to pay no estate taxes, and he does not want to worry about running out of money in retirement (due to poor investing).  Assuming the team approach to help this client is implemented, Dr. Smith also brings in the finest CPA in town and the person who is considered the best financial planner.

Assume Dr. Smith has a $2,000,000 brokerage account, a paid off $500,000 vacation condo in Florida, $1,000,000 in local rental real estate, a $1,000,000 home and a $1,000,000 IRA all in his name. (There are many Dr. Smiths in this country).

Dr. Smith pays the attorney $5,000, the CPA $3,500, the fee only financial planner $3,000 and he is given the “finest” estate and financial plan that can be purchased in his area.

Dr. Smith feels good about his plan due to the fact that the advisors used have great reputations, he paid a lot for the “comprehensive” plan and everything in writing looked very official.

Ignoring the fact that none of the three advisors know many of the “advanced” techniques in the CWPP™ program (which would have been more beneficial to Dr. Smith to make his traditional estate and financial plan better); what is the problem with the above situation?

The answer is that the topic of asset protection was totally and completely ignored.

Let us now look at that bad fact scenario that is happening daily around this county to the Dr. Smiths who practice medicine.

Assume Dr. Smith (orthopedic surgeon) went into surgery the day after his new estate and financial plan is put in place and accidentally cuts off the wrong foot of a diabetic patient.

What is going to happen to Dr. Smith?  He is going to get sued for $5,000,000.

Assume that Dr. Smith has $1,000,000 worth of malpractice coverage and ultimately loses the medical malpractice suit where a jury does in fact award the plaintiff $5,000,000.

How did the $11,500 world’s greatest estate and financial plan protect Dr. Smith from the $5,000,000 verdict?   It did NOTHING to protect his assets. If the plaintiff with the $5,000,000 verdict goes after Dr. Smith’s assets, there is little Dr. Smith can do to prevent the court from directing Dr. Smith to give his assets (including the IRA money which is not protected in Tennessee) to the plaintiff/creditor to satisfy the judgment.