Trouble is, life doesn't always go according to plan, said Porter, who once "inherited" the clients of a fellow planner in his early 60s who met an untimely death. Because the deceased didn't have a succession plan, his family wasn't compensated for the equity he had in his business, she said.
"If something happens and you don't just ride off into the sunset at a certain time in your life, you are putting your family and clients at potential risk" by failing to have a succession plan, she added.
Read MoreNo succession plan? Kiss your clients good-bye
Porter and others in the profession say it behooves consumers to ask their advisors, or planners they may be evaluating, about their succession plans. Understanding what happens to the clients of a practice if an advisor retires or dies is equally important as knowing how an advisor is compensated, she said.
"It is not unreasonable for consumers to ask about succession or contingency plans," Porter said. "If enough clients start asking about these issues, it will speed up the process of advisors" taking the succession-planning issue more seriously, she added.
Advisors who have, or hope to groom, their own successors by mentoring young talent say there are a number of reasons to do so. Among other things, interns or recent college graduates tend to be less set in their ways professionally than older workers who come to the profession from other fields, although retaining upstarts once they get some experience can be a challenge.