Create core estate planning documents on-demand with Vanilla Document Builder ™

Updated 10/19/23

Wealth advisors can now give clients a modern estate planning experience–starting with document creation, to estate plan visualizations and ongoing advisory

At Vanilla, we believe it’s every wealth advisor’s job to ensure that their clients have an estate plan that matches their values and goals. The foundation of a plan is its document, but more often than not, clients have out-of-date estate planning documents or none at all. In fact, according to Vanilla’s State of Estate Planning, 23% of clients with more than $1 million in assets do not have basic estate documents. The consequences of dying intestate, without a will or trust, can be severe, from giving up the opportunity to say who will be responsible for your estate, appointing a guardian for minor children and specifying how assets are allocated and to whom.  

Why do people go without getting estate documents? For one, the traditional way of going into an attorney’s office is cumbersome. In order to address this problem, we’re proud to announce the public preview of our online document creation platform, Vanilla Document Builder.  Built to easily support all types of documents depending on the needs of the client, Vanilla Document Builder will start offering a core revocable trust-based package, then add more basic and advanced packages, enhancements and the ability to engage top attorneys through the platform, over time.

With Vanilla Document Builder fully integrated directly into the Vanilla Estate Advisory Platform, advisors can easily manage the complete estate planning lifecycle with their clients. After the documents are created, advisors can see their clients’ plan come to life with a fully integrated and dynamic view of their clients’ estates–the perfect impetus for client conversations and touch points in their planning.

Intuitive, self-guided document creation

Vanilla Document Builder is a modern way to create estate documents. Using Vanilla’s simple self-guided experience, clients can initially create a Basic Trust Package including a Pour-over Will, Revocable Trust, Health Care Directive, Power of Attorney, and a Certification of Trust. Clients need flexibility based on their needs to formalize their wishes within their documents.  Our documents provide non-standard options included in the trust packages such as a QTIP marital trust or outright distribution to spouse, aged-based trust distributions for assets left to people in trust, and a perpetual pot trust for some or all assets left to children or descendants.


Advisors simply invite their clients to login to Vanilla Document Builder, where they fill out an intuitive, self-guided questionnaire. The document templates have been created in partnership with Accelerant, a top estate planning law firm. Advisors can track their client’s progress as they build these core documents directly inside Vanilla.

Vanilla visualizes key concepts and surfaces relevant help content to enable the client to make decisions with ease and confidence as they’re filling out the questionnaire. Once complete, the finalized documents are printed and shipped, with a beautifully designed package landing right on the client’s doorstep, ready to be executed. 

Most importantly for the advisor and client, the estate plan seamlessly integrates with the client profile, making Vanilla an end-to-end platform.  All of the visualizations, diagrams, waterfalls and balance sheet instantly populate based on the client documents.  Once the plan is created, the client’s assets flow through their plan, providing the advisor with an understanding of their goals now and in the future.  

Modernizing estate advisory for now and the future

Estate planning is more than just a “one-and-done” activity.  An advisor needs to make sure that every client has an estate plan, and once it’s complete, work with their clients to follow it, from retitling of assets, to signing documents and understanding how it works.  

Truly impactful estate advisory is a relationship that results in a living, breathing representation of how a person’s life’s work will impact the people and causes they care most about, and help them maximize that impact.   From the creation of those first core documents, to updates as life circumstances change, we’re proud to add Vanilla Document Builder to the Vanilla Estate Advisory Platform so advisors can help clients think expansively about the true impact of their legacy.

To learn more about Vanilla Document Builder, visit our website.


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