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Gene Farrell

May 17, 2023

The future of estate advisory: A new way to think about estate planning

  [Watch Legacy Now on demand, to learn more about Vanilla’s vision for estate advisory.] I believe that technology – when used thoughtfully – can be truly transformative. And this week at our Legacy Now event, with the help of Vanilla co-founder Steve Lockshin, I had the opportunity to share how Vanilla plans to transform not just estate planning, but financial advising as a whole, with the new Vanilla Estate Advisory Platform.  The technology itself is only a part of the picture. It’s a tool. It’s the enabler that, when paired with exceptional advisors, will allow for a new kind...

The Great Wealth Transfer What Large Advisory Firms Need to Know Blog


Oct 14, 2021

The Great Wealth Transfer: What large advisory firms need to know

We are on the brink of the largest transfer of wealth in American history. In the next 25 years, as much as $84.4 trillion from 45 million U.S. households will be passed down from older Americans to their Millennial and Gen X inheritors. This exchange of wealth and change in who the wealthy demographic is will dramatically shift the landscape of wealth management across the U.S. The stakes are high for financial advising firms. Most firms have naturally focused on an older client base since they hold a significantly larger portion of wealth and have a higher interest in investments. If...

Family Estate Planning guide Blog


Jun 14, 2021

Family Estate Planning: An advisor’s guide to helping clients transfer wealth to the...

As the financial planning industry anticipates the Great Wealth Transfer from baby boomers to their heirs, reports show that at least 80% of adult children and heirs will find their own advisors after receiving an inheritance. In other words, if you’re waiting until your client dies to introduce yourself to their family, you’ve waited too long to win their heirs as new clients. But there’s good news: family estate planning provides the perfect opportunity to connect with your client’s family early on and cultivate an ongoing relationship that can extend into the next generation. By anticipating their family’s estate planning...

Why Financial Planning Clients Need Advisors to Collaborate with Estate Planning Lawyers (and How to Partner Up) Blog


Mar 22, 2021

Why financial planning clients need advisors to collaborate with estate planning lawyers (and...

It’s common for clients, financial advisors, and estate planning lawyers to treat estate planning and financial planning as separate entities. But financial plans and estate plans are closely intertwined. Without a well-made estate plan, all the financial goals a client achieves can fall apart. Sadly, a poorly made estate plan often leaves the grieving family to pick up the pieces. You can advise your client on strategies for maximizing assets, but for asset protection, they need an attorney. When financial assets change, so should an estate plan. An attorney can provide the legal expertise by recording and adapting the estate...

Estate Planning Is a Path to Client Retention Blog


Mar 08, 2021

In tough financial times, estate planning is a path to client retention

Financial advisors faced a down wave of change before the pandemic. Over the past year, that wave grew into a tsunami that continues to test advisor-client relationships. The most resilient firms — those that have retained at least 99% of their clients over the past year — understand the power of prioritizing relationship quality over quantity. According to a 2020 Price Metrix report from McKinsey, advisors with the highest levels of client retention “have deeper relationships and fewer client relationships.” While they serve fewer households, advisors with low attrition rates manage more accounts per household. One of the most powerful...

Traditional Estate Planning Blog


Nov 18, 2020

Traditional estate planning has an inclusivity problem. Here’s how to fix it.

It’s sad and shocking to learn that beloved actor Chadwick Boseman died recently without a will. At no point did he draw up documents to ensure his loved ones knew his wishes for how to handle his near-million-dollar estate after he was gone. Chadwick Boseman is just the latest in an ever-growing list of Black public figures—and famous people from other marginalized groups—who left an enormous positive impact on the world but left legal strife for their loved ones. If so many extraordinarily successful people die without a clear plan for what should happen in the event of their death,...

Who Needs Estate Planning Everyone, No Matter the Excuse. Blog


Sep 25, 2020

Who needs estate planning? Everyone, no matter the excuse.

Who needs estate planning? Everyone. But a lot of people avoid estate planning because they think they’re too young, they’re too busy, they feel estate planning is too expensive or too complicated, they’ve done it once in the past and don’t think they need to again, or they just don’t believe they have anything to plan for. The costs of making excuses not to estate plan can be high. Failure to plan means probate could keep beneficiaries in court for years while their assets are frozen and expenses mount. It could even mean that those they worked hard to take...

Start Talking to Your Clients About Death Blog


May 19, 2020

Financial Advisors: Start talking to your clients about death

Thanks to recent technological advances, basic investment management doesn’t cut it for your clients anymore. You’re expected to deliver something technology cannot — a three-dimensional view of your clients’ finances, life and death included. Talking about what happens to one’s financial legacy upon death is an emotional conversation. It requires trust, and it requires humanity. If you can manage to have that conversation, your clients might learn that their investment returns aren’t necessarily worth much to their family without proper estate planning. People who pass away without properly planning their estate leave their family susceptible to years of legal hassle....

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