Career Description: Estate planner
Estate planners ensure the orderly transfer of assets.
What will I do?
An estate planner assists clients in the accumulation, conservation and transfer of estate with a goal of helping clients maintain financial security for themselves and their family. An ‘estate’ in this context comprises the net assets of a deceased person.
Opportunities in estate planning and related areas have grown over the past two decades in Malaysia. Typically estate planners are involved in:
- Designing and developing estate plans and drafting related legal documents (eg wills and trust)
- Administering estates and trusts
- Developing strategies to reduce potential estate and gift taxes
- Business succession planning
- Insurance planning and retirement planning.
Before embarking on a career in estate planning, the following questions need to be answered:
- What personal characteristics should I possess?
- What qualifications do I need?
- Is the career compatible with my personality and abilities?
- Will the profession provide me with an interesting and enjoyable career, and at the same time, ensure good returns?
An estate planner’s job combines professionalism and entrepreneurship. It requires a high level of social skills in addition to technical knowledge. The best part about this career is that you will have an opportunity to work as an entrepreneur and not necessarily remain as an employee.
Is it for me?
- Do I like problem solving?
- Do I enjoy dealing with people?
- Do I possess good communication skills?
- Am I fluent in English and am able to converse effectively in some local dialects?
- Do I have an entrepreneurial spirit and a drive for achievement and financial rewards?
- Do I believe in lifelong learning and in building a holistic knowledge base to advise people on personal financial issues?
Qualifying as an estate planner
Students interested in this profession should enrol in any one of the professional financial planning courses available in Malaysia. Two of the more popular courses include Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Registered Financial Planner (RFP). To register for these courses, SPM or equivalent is required. The courses will cover areas such as risk management and insurance planning, tax planning, investment planning, retirement planning and estate planning.
How much will I earn?
Remuneration for estate planners in Malaysia is mainly performance-based and linked to the type of financial services provided. Estate planners have the potential to earn unlimited incomes, with attractive non-monetary incentives such as time flexibility and extensive training and support.
Who will employ me?
Employers will mainly come from financial service providers such as those involved in writing wills (eg Rockwills), trust and estate planning, and personal financial planning.
A word of adviceDr Ravindra Narayanan – assistant coordinator of the Accounting and Finance Department (School of Business) at Monash University, Sunway Campus, Malaysia – said, ‘Many graduates have the perception that there are lots of better-paying jobs and it is a norm for fresh graduates to look for well-paid jobs rather than improve their entrepreneurial skills.
Graduates should start thinking beyond the norm and explore other non-traditional career prospects, which have great potential of being interesting and enjoyable and also give them good financial returns.’
This article first appeared in doctorjob's CoursesNOW! Business 2009.