Vanilla Academy

The estate planning learning center for financial advisors

Learn about estate strategy, business growth and more

Vanilla Courses

New Client Conversations: How to engage new clients with estate planning

Client conversations, grow your business

22 min.

Learn what to ask new clients — and what to listen for in their answers — as you engage with them for the first time regarding their estate plans. Download the New Client Conversations Checklist to follow along with the presentation.


Steve Lockshin

Founder, Vanilla

Estate Planning 101

core documents, wills, trusts, healthcare directives, powers of attorney, advanced strategies

This three-part series will give you a primer on core estate planning concepts as well as an overview of advanced strategies.

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Improving Client Conversations with Vanilla

client conversations, grow your business

Wondering how you can use the Vanilla platform to help guide your client conversations and add value? We have some quick tips on how you can leverage the platform to build more complete strategies, differentiate yourself from the competition and grow your share of wallet.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I'm a current customer. Where do I find information about how to use the Vanilla product?

You’ll find “how to” articles and videos on the Vanilla product in help center. There, you will find information on onboarding, getting started, document abstraction and more.

I'm ready to incorporate estate planning as a major part of my practice. How to I go about doing that?

Congratulations! In addition to checking out our Vanilla Estate Planning 101 course, we recommend you use our Vanilla Estate Planning Playbook to help create a framework for your advisory. For added insights, check out our webinar on the Playbook.

My clients have attorneys. As a financial advisor, why should I be involved in their estate planning?

Attorneys play vital roles in estate planning. They will need to draft any legal documents your clients need. But advisors talk to clients more frequently than their attorneys do, and have a more holistic picture of clients’ financial health and goals. Advisors can help identify potentially issues or opportunities for clients, and ensure their estate plan aligns with their evolving needs and goals.

I'd like to talk to my clients about estate planning, but am unsure how to broach the subject. How to I begin?

You can start by emphasizing the importance of estate planning. Lots of people push estate planning off because they don’t want to think about it, but not having a plan will likely mean their wishes aren’t met in the event of their incapacity or death. Start by showing them the presentation Why Estate Planning Matters.

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