Introducing Vanilla Academy: Empowering financial advisors with free educational resources on estate planning

In a recent report by Spectrem Group, a full 93% of respondents said they want estate planning advice from their advisors, but only 22% of clients are actually receiving that advice. Vanilla aims to change that.

Clients crave help from their advisors on estate planning because they recognize that their advisors are in the perfect place to provide real insights. Although clients need attorneys to draft legal documents, those attorneys don’t have the same holistic view of clients’ financial pictures–their assets, their hopes, their dreams–or their family feuds–as their financial advisors have. Not only do financial advisors have more perspective when it comes to clients’ assets, they also connect with clients more often, and because of this are in a better position to see opportunities or potential hazards in a plan as clients’ lives evolve. This is why the advisor/attorney team is so vital to creating a meaningful legacy.

An opportunity for education

If there’s such a demand for advisors to pay more attention to estate planning, what’s the problem? Why aren’t they doing it?

“What we’ve heard from advisors is that they understand how important estate planning is, and they want to help, said Jim Sinai, Chief Marketing Officer of Vanilla. “Not every advisor has a deep background in estate planning. We want to give them the tools they need to have impactful estate planning conversations with confidence.”

Vanilla has created Vanilla Academy to empower advisors with the information they need to have these important estate planning conversations with clients. Vanilla Academy will offer a range of courses and supporting articles to help get advisors more confident in estate planning strategy. These educational materials are supplemented by additional guides, blog articles, and webinars available in Vanilla’s resource center.

The foundation of Vanilla Academy

At launch, Vanilla Academy offers one three-part course in estate planning meant to give an overview of core concepts as well as advanced strategies. In order to capture the advisor and attorney perspectives, Vanilla tapped Stephen Wallace, Partner Attorney at Accelerant, and Dominic Cozzetto, Senior Advisor at AdvicePeriod as instructors.

In addition to this survey of estate planning, Vanilla Academy features a course on how to improve client conversations and expand business with Vanilla. This series is led by Laura Jogani, a Vanilla sales executive and former advisor with J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Vanilla plans to add to its course catalog in time to include modules that dive more deeply into each of the subjects discussed in the initial three-part estate planning primer course as well as modules focusing on some of the more sensitive topics inherent to estate planning, like conversations around death and dying, given by psychologists and subject matter experts.

Visit Vanilla Academy today and explore Vanilla’s resource center for educational content and client-facing materials around estate planning. 

The information provided here and in Vanilla Academy does not constitute legal advice or tax advice; it is provided for general informational purposes only. This information may not be updated or reflect changes in law. Please consult with your financial advisor or estate attorney who can advise as to whether the information contained herein is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.

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