Vanilla Updates


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...



May 16, 2023

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

Wealth advisors can now help clients with document creation and on-going estate advice 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.  But more often than not, clients have out-of-date estate planning documents or no documents at all. In fact, according to a 2023 Wills and Estate Planning Study, while 64% of Americans think having a will is important, only 34% of Americans have an estate plan.  When asked why they don’t have those basic documents in place, complexity and time required to hire an...


Daniel Brockley

Apr 19, 2023

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...



Apr 18, 2023

Vanilla Launches First Fully-Integrated Estate Advisory Platform

  SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 18, 2023  Vanilla, a leading provider of estate planning solutions, today announced the launch of its new Estate Advisory Platform, the first fully integrated model of an estate, bringing together family, financial, and estate planning data into one place.  The Vanilla Estate Advisory Platform The Vanilla Estate Advisory Platform offers dynamic visualizations of the estate, beneficiary summary and projections, estate tax projections, a dynamic balance sheet integrated with the leading personal finance management tools, and an on-demand report builder. With these features, financial advisors can deliver differentiated advice, expand client relationships, win new...

Jim Sinai

Jim Sinai

Apr 03, 2023

Introducing a brand new look for Vanilla

  Today, we’re excited to introduce a new look and feel to Vanilla. Vanilla was started with the point of view that thoughtful design can help make the daunting process of estate planning more accessible. Our straightforward design approach reinforces a core concept of our brand - we are making estate planning simple. After rapidly scaling the company over the last few years, we realized it was time to take a step back, redefine our voice, and reintroduce the brand to the world. A modern new look for Vanilla Vanilla’s goal is to make estate planning easy and to standardize...

Award Blog


Feb 23, 2023

Vanilla wins Best Newcomer/Startup award at WealthTech Americas Awards 2023

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, UNITED STATES, February 23, 2023 / -- Vanilla, a leading estate advisory platform, has been named the winner of the 'Best Newcomer/Startup' category at the Second Annual WealthTech Americas Awards 2023. This prestigious award recognizes Vanilla's dedication to transforming how wealth advisors help their clients with estate planning. Estate planning has emerged as the next frontier of wealth advisory. Consistent and ongoing estate planning helps clients build their legacy, reduce family conflict at death, and minimize estate taxes. Vanilla gives advisors and clients an interactive, visual platform of the complete estate plan so clients can make...

Vanilla appoints Jim Sinai as Chief Marketing Officer and Karen Nachbar as General Counsel Blog


Aug 04, 2022

Vanilla appoints Jim Sinai as chief marketing officer and Karen Nachbar as general...

Los Angeles, CA, August 4, 2022 - Vanilla, the award-winning Estate Advisory Platform, designed to transform how wealth advisors help their clients manage their estate and build their legacy, announces the addition of Jim Sinai as Chief Marketing Officer and Karen Nachbar as General Counsel. Jim and Karen join following a $30m Series B investment led by Insight Partners to round out a leadership team announced earlier this year and accelerate Vanilla’s growth. As CMO, Sinai will lead the marketing function reporting to Gene Farrell, CEO. Jim brings his extensive background in introducing new software products, launching brands, building demand,...

Vanilla Raises $30 Million in Series B Led by Insight Partners to Accelerate Product Development and Customer Adoption Blog


Apr 28, 2022

Vanilla raises $30 million in series B led by Insight Partners to accelerate...

Los Angeles, CA, April 28, 2022 - Vanilla, the award-winning estate and wealth management platform, today announced that it raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners. Vanilla will use the funding to accelerate product development and support rapid customer adoption as it works to revolutionize how financial advisors and households of all wealth levels build their legacy. Vanilla is seeking to reshape the $180 Billion estate planning industry by offering the first comprehensive, fully digital estate planning platform designed to support the legacy building process...

Vanilla hires CEO, CTO, and SVP of Revenue to accelerate scaling of the business Blog


Jan 04, 2022

Vanilla hires CEO, CTO, and SVP of revenue to accelerate scaling of the...

Los Angeles, CA, January 4, 2022 - Vanilla, the award-winning estate and wealth management platform designed to improve how advisors interact with their clients and prospects announces the addition of three key leaders to drive the next phase of rapid growth. These additions come on the heels of Vanilla’s $14.3 Million Series A closing, led by blue-chip investor Venrock. Gene Farrell has joined as CEO, Amjad Hussain as CTO, and Robin Melnick as SVP of Revenue. All three of these leaders bring extensive experience in building and leading enterprise software companies and will help accelerate the development of the Vanilla...

Vanilla Raises $11.6 Million with Venrock, Announces High-Profile Partners, Welcomes Former Vanguard Group Chairman McNabb to Board Blog


Aug 30, 2021

Vanilla raises $11.6 million with Venrock, announces high-profile partners, welcomes former Vanguard Group...

  Disruptive Estate Planning Startup Founded by Steve Lockshin Secures Funding Through Legendary Venture Capital Firm, Launches Partnerships with Orion and Addepar, and Welcomes F. William McNabb III, Former CEO and Chairman of Vanguard Group, as a Director. Los Angeles, CA, August 30, 2021 - Vanilla has raised $11.6 million in a Series A funding round led by renowned venture capital firm Venrock as it helps to revolutionize estate planning for households of all wealth levels and their financial advisors. Vanilla, founded by high-profile financial advisor and wealth management entrepreneur Steve Lockshin, is the first comprehensive, fully digital estate planning...

Vanilla award on wealth management Blog


Jun 07, 2021

For the second year in a row, estate planning platform Vanilla named finalist...

June 7, 2021. New York, New York. has recognized Vanilla, an award-winning comprehensive estate planning platform, as a finalist for its 2021 Industry Awards for the second year in a row. Every year,’s Industry Awards recognizes companies that make an exceptional impact in the world of financial advisors. After reviewing hundreds of entries, the judges made up of top names in the industry carefully selected who they believe have supported the success of financial advisors to an outstanding degree. The criteria was based on quantitative measures of their initiatives—such as scope, scale, adoption and feature set—along with qualitative...

Estate Planning Platform Vanilla Launches “Vanilla 2.0” Blog


Apr 14, 2021

Estate planning platform Vanilla launches “Vanilla 2.0”

April 14, 2021. Steve Lockshin’s Vanilla, a comprehensive estate planning platform, announces the release of “Vanilla 2.0” now available for new and existing users. Vanilla 2.0 is the latest version of Vanilla’s product offering designed to proactively manage the estate planning of an advisor’s entire client base. Vanilla is the first comprehensive estate planning solution that allows advisors to proactively monitor all of their clients, visualize existing planning, and take action through document creation. ‘Because estate planning can be so difficult to understand even with an experienced eye, Vanilla creates a way for us to bring simplicity to an experience...

Vanilla investment news finalist Blog


Feb 08, 2021

Estate planning platform Vanilla named finalist in InvestmentNews’ 2021 Innovation Awards

February 8, 2021. New York, New York.—InvestmentNews has recognized Vanilla as a 2021 Innovation Award finalist. Vanilla, along with twelve other firms, were chosen as finalists from several hundred nominations by a committee of InvestmentNews representatives. The judges recognized firms for their creative and novel systems that help financial advisors take care of their clients, run their businesses, and boost client outcomes. ‘Show your clients you care about more than their money.’ — VANILLA Each of the advisors, executives, and firms who made the fifth annual InvestmentNews Icons and Innovators list were chosen from a rigorous selection process designed to...

Estate Planning Demystified How We're Using Design to Create a Better Estate Management Process Blog


Dec 21, 2020

Estate Planning Demystified: How we’re using design to create a better estate management...

An estate plan is the story of someone’s legacy. But for advisors and clients alike, that story is hidden under layers of arcane legal mumbo-jumbo. At Vanilla, we’re using visual design to cut through complicated legalese and illustrate the crucial details of estate plans. We call this simplified, diagrammed approach to estate management “estate reporting.” Using our design studio roots to reimagine estate planning We see many of the broken processes in estate planning as design problems. Most of our founding team have strong graphic design backgrounds, so we approach problem-solving in a more visual way. As designers, our process...

We're Disrupting Estate Planning Here's How and What's Next Blog


Oct 28, 2020

We’re disrupting estate planning: Here’s how and what’s next

There are no do-overs when a person needs their estate planning to go into effect. Sure, financial advisors and attorneys can help them plan ahead of time, but when they need their estate plan to kick in, there’s no opportunity for revisions and no last-minute chance for planning. Knowing the impact that a lack of planning can have on a family is why I joined the team that, in 2019, created Vanilla. Vanilla started as a client project at our design studio and has since transformed into a company that makes estate planning more efficient, easier to understand, and accessible...

Vanilla Awarded Technology Disruptor in Industry Awards 2020 Blog


Sep 11, 2020

Vanilla awarded Technology Disruptor in Industry Awards 2020

September 10, 2020. New York City, New York. - Today, Vanilla was presented with an award from the 6th Industry Awards under the category “Disruptors: Technology.” ‘A near record-breaking number of nominations and companies participating in 2020.’ — WEALTHIES The Industry Awards recognizes companies that make an exceptional impact in the world of financial advisors. Companies who make a true difference in the day-to-day success of financial advisors. This year, more than 200 companies were nominated across 73 different categories. Companies ranging Carson Group, Fidelity Investments, Morning Star Inc, and more, competing in categories like Asset Managers, Disruptors,...

I Sold My Last Company. Now I’m Building Another to Help Entrepreneurs Plan for the Future Blog


Sep 04, 2020

I sold my last company. Now I’m building another to help entrepreneurs plan...

By the time I sold my third company, Grasshopper, to Citrix in 2015, we had bootstrapped the company from virtually nothing to more than $30 million in annual recurring revenue. We spent 12 years refining our technology and more importantly, helping other entrepreneurs succeed and build their own companies. For many entrepreneurs, selling their company is the end goal. An acquisition by a major multinational might prompt some founders to start thinking how they’d spend their time—and money—once the ink was dry. For me, selling my company made me think about my own death and what I’d be leaving behind—and...

Ready to get started?

Deliver a whole new client conversation experience

Talk to our sales team today.