As a financial advisor, you hold a unique position of trust, ensuring your client’s current and future financial health. Yet, as the US moves towards its most significant wealth transfer in history, over 70% of Americans are without a valid estate plan –leaving families at risk and potential wallet share at the door. In this article, we’ll explore five strategies to sell estate and legacy planning to your financial advisory clients and increase revenue streams for your business. But first,
Why Estate and Legacy Planning?
Caring.com recently released its Wills and Estate Planning Study for 2023, and while the numbers have not changed significantly since 2022, the results are, nonetheless, quite shocking. The percentage of U.S. Adults with a Will increased by only 1% from 2022, totaling 34.1%. Caring.com also took to understanding why more Americans do not have an estate plan. The survey showed procrastination and a lack of knowledge or understanding about estate and legacy planning contributed heavily to the results.
And while the nation’s financial health continues to decline, J.D. Power noted a significant increase in business for banks that offered sound financial advice, noting that “Advice has been hard to come by, as just 21% say they received advice or guidance in the past year. However, banks that have effectively guided their customers have reaped the rewards.”
As a financial advisor, you understand the importance of a clearly defined offering stack and the benefits that come with it, including higher customer satisfaction and increased wallet share.
Five Strategies to Offer Estate Planning Solutions to Your Financial Advisory Clients
1. Addressing Pushback
Whether your clients struggle to see the immediate value, find the idea uncomfortable to discuss, or are unsure about when to start, the reality is that no one enjoys preparing for the inevitable transition – leaving it up to you to alleviate their concerns about end-of-life planning. Instead of addressing each issue head-on, you can foster an open discussion that emphasizes the key components of an estate plan and how your client and their families will benefit.
“Let’s talk about protecting your assets.”
Your clients have spent a lifetime accumulating and protecting their financial and personal assets. Creating an estate and legacy plan will aid in securing those assets for future generations.
“We’ll create a financial plan that changes with you.”
In life, one thing is constant – change. Marriage, divorce, birth, death, and life experiences, in general, can trigger the need for a revised estate plan. Utilizing the right estate planning solutions will help minimize the amount of time spent recreating their legacy plan and reduce the costs associated with hiring an attorney.
2. Put Common Misconceptions to Rest
Offering estate planning solutions to your clients can be difficult when they come to the table with misconceptions and inaccurate information.
Common misconceptions about estate planning:
- It’s only for the wealthy
- I’m too young
- My will is good enough
- I can do this later
- My estate plan was completed years ago
Whether you’re an insurance broker, a financial advisor, or work at an estate planning firm, it’s important to address financial planning myths and move clients toward understanding that estate and legacy planning is essential, regardless of wealth, health, or age.,
3. Discuss The Alternative —No Plan Is in Place
Estate planning is more than your client’s assets; it’s about the loved ones they leave behind. Families left without a carefully crafted legacy and estate plan can suffer the consequences.
Millions of dollars are lost annually to attorney and court fees associated with inheritance tax and probate proceedings upon the death of a loved one. Explain the potential financial burdens and how proper estate planning can help heirs avoid unnecessary costs and fees.
Probate: Probate proceedings can take up to two years, and assets are typically “frozen” until the courts decide on the distribution of the property, costing families between 3% and 8% of the estate’s total value.
Taxes: Reduce or avoid estate and inheritance tax liabilities associated with property transfers upon death.
Estate and legacy planning covers not only the client’s monetary and physical assets but also their goals, wishes, and life plans for loved ones. Without it, their family could be left to make decisions that can inadvertently add emotions of jealousy, spite, and guilt to their already profound feelings of grief.
Encourage Unity: In-fighting over an estate and assets can result in turmoil in even the closest families. Items as simple as a tea set or living room furniture can cause disagreements. Thorough planning, especially with family involvement, can aid in the avoidance of future conflict.
4. Estate Planning as Part of the Financial Planning Process
One of the most effective ways to offer estate planning services to your clients is to include them as part of your overall financial planning process. Including estate and legacy planning as a core component of your financial services will help clients realize the value of establishing an estate plan early. Additionally, by discussing estate and legacy planning alongside other financial planning topics, you can help your clients envision how estate planning fits into their broader financial picture.
5. Use Technology to Streamline the Planning Process
Offering your clients a quick and convenient estate and legacy planning process is essential and equally vital for you as the advisor. By incorporating estate planning software integrated with your digital banking platform, through a referral, or a gift, you’ll streamline the planning process — creating an environment that is accessible and attainable for your mass affluent clients. Use digital estate planning software to enable clients to create a will, trust, or other estate planning documents from the comfort of their home while providing advisors with real-time data about their clients and financial position—thus, expanding your reach, increasing wallet share opportunities, and, ultimately, your client base.
Estate and Legacy Planning Made Easy
Selling estate and legacy planning to your financial advisory clients requires a strategic mix of hands-on and hands-off approaches. By highlighting the benefits, addressing misconceptions and potential implications, and incorporating cutting-edge, turn-key technologies as part of the financial planning process, you can guide your clients to an easily accessible and effective way to plan for their families futures. Contact our team today to learn more about estate planning solutions and how your financial planning firm can benefit.
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