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Article Explaining Roles, Goals, Workflows, Cash Flows, and Controls

Roles for the Unified Planning Team

When planning team members work together in unity, clients enjoy peace of mind, realize their goals, and express high satisfaction. When planning teams members fail to work together in unity, we almost always see that the disunity is caused by lack of clarity about Roles, Goals, and Controls. This article clarifies how advisers on a team should commit to use web-based controls to help all team members operate within their roles while focusing on fulfillment of the client’s goals.

To maximize the benefits of advisers working in harmony to achieve the client’s goals and minimize expense to the client, all planning team members should agree to help clarify Roles, Goals, and Controls in a written document. First, planning team members should focus on the client’s goals and explain how objectives are achieved by strategies involving the client’s Balance sheet, Asset management, Legal, Tax, Insurance and Cash flow (“BALTIC ”) data. A Family Wealth Blueprint® addresses all of the client’s strategies in one document with concise summaries of how current plans achieve or fail to achieve the client’s goals. Second, a periodic summary of next actions should clarify which adviser will complete each next action by a specific due date in order to implement ideas in the Family Wealth Blueprint.

One adviser should have the specific role of maintaining the Family Wealth Blueprint® and the next action checklist. This adviser, typically known as the Wealth Counselor, should oversee a Case Manager who collects data from all planning team members and works with the back office to update the Blueprint periodically. Ideally all planning team members must affirm the accuracy of the Blueprint and the client should sign off on the document before a lawyer drafts legal documents based on the goals in the document.

A Blueprint may involve more than 100 pages of details about the client’s lifetime income, transfers to heirs, gifts to charities, or money spent on taxes. Ideally, the Blueprint should include the most recent asset management returns, summaries of expected tax liabilities, details about insurance premiums and benefits, and details about proposed and implemented legal documents. Even if the Blueprint has much detailed data regarding all aspects of the planning, clients and advisers should be able to see concise summaries of all the planning strategies in the next action checklist based on the Blueprint.

Below is a summary of how the Blueprint and corresponding next action checklist provide written details about how a Wealth Counselor and Case Manager can hold planning team members accountable to their roles and their actions for pursuing fulfillment of the client’s goals. As all advisers commit to complete their next actions on time (or modify next actions in a mutually agreeable way), the advisory team members can trust in an effective “control” system.

The Wealth Counselor must continually analyze statements of roles, goals, and controls to make sure that all advisers are working in harmony to fulfill the client’s goals and keeping one another accountable using web-based controls. The following three sections of this document provide examples how of how this process works:


Near the front of the Blueprint is a summary of the various planning team members. This summary should show at least the information below. Ideally, the summary should clarify who will assume responsibilities as the licensed CPA, licensed lawyer, licensed insurance broker, and licensed investment adviser. The Blueprint should also clarify who is quarterbacking the planning team as a Wealth Counselor. The Wealth Counselor should have expertise with integrating and illustrating the myriad investment, legal, tax, insurance, and cash flow strategies recommended by team members. The Wealth Counselor must also monitor and guard against conflicts of interest. For example, all tax and financial recommendations should be reviewed by an independent CPA.

Planing team Member's Name Relationship View Timeline
View All Planning
Jim Johnson Attorney Yes Yes No No
Gary Goddard CPA Yes Yes No No
Joe Jones Insurance Adviser Yes Yes No No
Rick Rogers Investment Adv Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tim Voorhees Wealth Counselor Yes Yes Yes Yes

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