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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...

How to Prepare for the Death of a Client Blog


Jul 08, 2021

How to prepare for the death of a client

You’ve built a solid financial foundation for your client, made investments with an eye on the future, and helped them strive toward making their financial goals a reality—but what happens once they pass on? Without preparation, the months following a client’s death can be a chaotic mess for a financial advisor. Assets need to be found, collected, and handed over to whoever is handling the estate. You put in hours of work, and in the end, you are left clientless, watching the assets you carefully tended for your client in life tangled in probate court and wasted on fees and...

How Advisors Can Add Value Blog

Daniel Brockley

Oct 04, 2022

How financial advisors can add value in a bear market

It’s officially a bear market, now what? How advisors can add value when times are tough It’s brutal out there. After riding the sugar high of the pandemic, client portfolios – and probably your own portfolio as well – have found themselves in miserable hangover territory. The S&P recently hit a two year low and the Dow, not to be outdone, touched a yearly bottom as well. Instead of celebrating portfolio windfalls with your clients, you’re likely having some difficult conversations. But as challenging as these times are, there’s opportunity here. The current climate is the perfect chance to show...

How Millennials Think About Wealth Management Blog


May 25, 2022

Millennials and Estate Planning: What advisors should know

How millennials think about wealth management—including estate planning Millennials take their financial lives seriously—and they’re ready to enlist the experts to help. The past few years have seen a lot of change in the financial lives of millennials. The generation born between 1981 and 1996 is approaching their peak earning years and hitting major milestones from having kids to buying houses to starting businesses. According to one report, there are more than 618,000 millennial millionaires in the United States. And with the Great Wealth Transfer on the horizon, millennials are poised to inherit another $68 trillion from their Baby Boomer...


Daniel Brockley

Mar 02, 2023

Process Matters: Why “bespoke” is not enough when it comes to estate planning

  Part I in a series of 3 on The Vanilla Estate Planning Playbook. Talk to any financial advisor out there, and you’ll hear a common refrain: Sure, we do estate planning. The thing is, what advisors mean when they say they do estate planning varies wildly. For many, doing estate planning simply means asking clients if they have basic documents in place, such as a Will, trust(s), healthcare directive and power of attorney. If the client has docs, the financial advisor moves on to other matters like investments. If they don’t, they refer the client to an estate attorney...

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....

Top 5 Challenges of Estate Planning for Blended Families (and How to Solve Them) Blog


Jul 19, 2021

Top 5 challenges of estate planning for blended families (and how to solve...

Deciding who gets what after one’s passing is tough. According to a survey by, only 42% of American adults have essential estate planning documents, such as a will or a living trust. People avoid planning for the inevitable for many reasons. But for blended families, a major reason is that estate planning requires more than a simple will. Many difficult questions come up: How do I ensure everyone is well taken care of after I am gone? Should I leave everything to my spouse and hope they take care of my children? How do I avoid disinheriting my children?...


Daniel Brockley

Nov 03, 2022

Turning-Point Conversations: How to use important life events to refocus clients and deepen...

Curiosity – genuine curiosity – is one of the most important traits a financial advisor can have. Sure, this means curiosity about the different levers and pulleys of the economic machine, but it also means curiosity about clients. Not just about their risk tolerance, but about what makes them tick. Their goals, their fears. What gets them out of bed in the morning. A deeper understanding of clients as people, not just portfolios, enables you to bring the kind of value that goes far beyond index funds. There are certain times in life that lend themselves to these clarifying conversations–when...

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...

Let's take back our legacies Blog


Dec 06, 2022

Let’s take back our legacies

I am not an expert in estate planning. That may be a strange thing to admit for someone who runs a company focused on estate planning. What I do well (and what I find enormously rewarding) is identifying difficult problems, and – with the collaboration of great teams – use technology to solve them. When it comes to identifying which challenges to take on, I am drawn to areas where solving the problem can create real impact for individuals, families, and society. Estate planning is exactly this type of problem because it touches almost everyone. Helping individuals and families define...

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