Estate planning is a critical part of the planning process and ideally should be a group effort, involving attorneys and accountants as well as planners, according to four advisors I consulted for my 50th estate planning column for Financial Planning. But where does a financial planner fit on the team?

"Our role is to raise questions and get clarity for clients, making sure the documents reflect their wishes," says Marilyn Capelli Dimitroff, president of Capelli Financial Services in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "Many clients will come in with old documents that are not aligned with their current situation and they don't even realize it."

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