When we first (soft) launched Helios Integrated Planning less than three months ago (May 2019), we knew there was a glaring hole in most Financial Advisor’s practices. That hole is expressed in surveys such as the 2017 Estate Planning Awareness Survey commissioned by WealthCounsel, which found that 47% of Americans say they would like an Estate Plan but haven’t gotten around to it.
When we review Fintech reports which state the market share % of software companies which Financial Advisor’s incorporate into their workflows, (e.g., turnkey solutions, CRMs, risk analysis tools, etc.) we noticed another glaring hole, nothing about Estate Plans.
It’s common knowledge in the financial community that we are fighting concepts like the “behavior gap,” which is the result of investors making poor allocation decisions due to performance chasing, or other concepts such as the “savings gap,” or the “retirement crisis,” which states that less than ~30% of Americans have more than $1,000 saved.
Very rarely do we (and by we, I mean the Financial Advisor community) ever hear about Estate Plans.
Why is that? Simple economics.
Financial Advisors have never had a comprehensive Estate Planning system built for them and their clients in mind.
During my tenure as a Financial Advisor, I can’t count the number of times that I have referred clients to a local Estate Planner or Attorney to build their Will-based or Trust-based Estate Plan. However, I can count with my fingers the number of times that I have received a referral in return.
Here is why I believe this imbalance of referral activity exists: Financial Advisors, especially those who focus on planning, have a deep relationship with their clients that extends well beyond their investments. Not only do they refer estate planning business, but they also recommend everything from assisted living facilities to wedding planning services.
Estate Planners and Attorneys typically do not enjoy a similar type of relationship. On most occasions, they charge by the minute and are notorious for being “not cheap.”
Clients of Attorneys are almost fearful that if they do not use their time with them as efficiently as possible, they will overpay for their services. Therefore, topics like assisted living, wedding planning, and financial planning are not a normal slice of the conversation, which would warrant a referral to a Financial Advisor.
Now, with Helios Integrated Planning (HIP), a Financial Advisor can coordinate Estate Plans without sacrificing quality or the need to leave their desk. We believe that HIP reduces a lot of friction from the clients of Financial Advisors than their alternative procedure of finding an Estate Planner or Attorney, booking an appointment, driving there, meeting, signing, executing the docs, paying a (hefty) fee, and then bringing a copy of the documents back to their Financial Advisor (because that’s who drives the relationship!).
We are dedicated to providing Financial Advisors confidence when and where they need it most. Therefore, we heard your feedback and decided to assemble some simple podcast episodes that will equip every Financial Advisor with the information they need to learn and grow their practice by coordinating Estate Plans.
Today, we are releasing our first season of the Financial Advisor’s Guide to Estate Planning! Each episode is designed around the most common discussion points we have had with Financial Advisors during our journey of building our software. At about 47 minutes total, you can binge listen to the entire season, or spend no more than 9min on your favorite episode!
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