Updated: Mar 30
As an advisor you provide valuable estate and financial planning advice. Learn how the right conversations can benefit both you and your clients.
The COVID-19 pandemic challenged how most traditional organizations do business. According to McKinsey, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation by up to 4 years.
As a financial advisor in this new digital-first world, you have had to change the way you think about your role– or risk losing current clients and missing opportunities to gain new ones. You’ve probably adopted technology like Zoom for remote meetings, Docusign for digital agreements, and other SaaS platforms to help you serve your clients better.
You’ve adopted some of the latest technology but are you missing something even more important?
The Great Wealth Transfer is coming, and with it a new breed of clients. Millennials and baby boomer women are the next generation of clients, and they expect more from their financial advisor than clients of the past.
They expect more personalized, holistic, well-rounded financial advice than ever before. And they expect their advisor to have leading-edge, up-to-date industry knowledge, including an understanding of how digital assets like cryptocurrency play into estate planning.
The best way to know what your current and future clients need from you? Open and honest conversations.
Here are three conversations you need to have with your clients today.
1. Discuss digital assets with your clients
Digital assets are becoming an increasingly common and valuable part of our daily lives. Before we go any further though, let’s break down what digital assets are, and why they are critical to estate planning.
What are digital assets?
Digital assets are anything of monetary or sentimental value that exist online or in a digital format.
These can include:
Credit card or other loyalty rewards points
Digital photos, music or video files
Blogs or websites you own
E-books or audio books
Online payment accounts like Paypal
The best financial advice is holistic
The best financial advice includes your clients’ entire lives and that includes digital assets. As increasingly common as they may be, your clients may not realize the importance of their digital assets or that they even have any. It’s important not to assume a client’s level of understanding based on things like gender or age. Having open and honest conversations allows you to gauge their level of understanding and provide the right information.
If you didn’t discuss digital assets during the intake process, that’s okay! It’s never too late to see where clients are at and answer any questions they might have.
An Angus Reid survey commissioned by Willful found that only 11% of respondents have an emergency plan for their digital assets and 39% said they had never thought about creating one. These numbers demonstrate that your clients are in need of information about adding digital assets to their estate plan.
2. Encourage yours client to bring their loved ones into your conversations
Intergenerational meetings can serve multiple purposes for both you and your clients.
Financial advisors can help prevent family conflicts
Meeting with your clients’ families, whether that’s chosen family or relatives, can help you get a better understanding of the family dynamics at play. With open and honest dialogue, you may realize that some of your clients’ families don't understand or may even completely disagree with their legacy plans.
Facilitating a family meeting with your clients’ and their families can often help to reduce family conflict and resentment after death. If there are misunderstandings or disagreements, it’s critical for your clients’ to resolve those conflicts before they pass away.
Financial advisors can be a trusted face in challenging times
Intergenerational meetings also provide you with the opportunity to create relationships with your clients’ families. This means that in times of crisis, you have the existing relationships to provide support. You’re no longer a stranger, but instead a familiar face and trusted expert.
The benefits of continuing relationships
In addition to providing valuable advice for your clients’ and their families, developing intergenerational relationships is a great way to help grow your business.
According to a survey conducted by TD, about 46% of millennials who inherited assets wish they would have gotten the advice of a professional, with 45% inheriting more than they expected. Add in the fact that only 24% of millennials are financially literate and it’s very clear the need for financial advice is there.
With existing relationships in place, you’re in an excellent position to provide financial advice to the next generation of clients.
3. Talk to your clients about the story their legacy tells
Part of your role as a financial advisor is helping your clients consider what they want their legacy to be and what story that legacy will tell. As EstateBox founder and CEO Anjali Coyle put it, “Not everyone’s estate can make a large charitable donation but there’s so many ways you can leave a legacy, no matter what your income is.”
A few questions to consider asking when helping your clients tell a story with their life and legacy plan are:
What are you passionate about?
Who are the people you care most about?
What are the obstacles you’ve had to overcome and how might you want to pay it forward for younger folks in similar situations?
How do you want to be remembered?
For some clients, their main priority might be to leave an inheritance for their children. For others, it might be setting up a scholarship to ensure kids with similar life circumstances as them have a chance to thrive.
EstateBox helps financial advisors provide holistic guidance
EstateBox makes it easy to get a comprehensive view of your clients’ lives, including the people who are important to them and the story they want to tell with their legacy.
Clients upload their key details and documents onto a safe and secure platform that centralizes all of their information. Access can then be shared among other advisors and trusted delegates. The user-friendly, guided workflow ensures that the process is intuitive for both tech-savvy and tech-hesitant clients.
A recent survey by TD Wealth found that 83% of surveyed estate and financial planners use digital tools like estate planning software and online estate planning platforms to support their clients’ estate planning.
You’re already using remote meeting and e-signature tools - consider adding a digital platform like EstateBox to your toolkit.
Create your EstateBox account today and explore the platform free for 60 days, with no credit card required. If you’re interested in offering EstateBox to your clients, contact our CEO and founder Anjali Coyle at email@example.com today.
While we’re passionate about all things estate planning, we’re not professionals. We recommend speaking with your lawyer or financial advisor when putting together an estate plan. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram!