“Usually clients don’t know where to start when it comes to estate planning and unless the adviser knows how to do it and where to get to, it ends up not being done,” AsuteWheel co-creator Hans Egger said, and added that “recommending the client to go see a solicitor is not enough.”
Egger explained that the tool allows clients to “feel empowered and informed” when they meet the solicitor and, at the same time, the tool “provides the solicitor with an understanding of what potential problems could appear when doing the client’s will.”
The tool requires that both the client and the adviser complete a step-by-step process that takes about one hour.
The process starts by putting the client’s general details in the system. Then, the client and the adviser build a family tree, they identify the client’s related entities (companies, trusts, self-managed super funds…) and finally they introduce the assets and liabilities, including superannuation and insurance policies.
The system produces a snapshot so clients visualise which assets are part of the estate planning and which need to be dealt with separately. It also generates a written proposal that the client can take to the solicitor.
The tool is available for advisers already using other AstuteWheel financial planning services and it doesn’t require the adviser to be an estate planning specialist, as “it is not recommending anything, it is only a fact-finding process,” Egger said.
AstuteWheel is used by about 300 advisers across 44 dealer groups and the company is considering partnering with solicitors.