A new estate planning tool to be used with clients has been developed with the aim of encouraging more Australians to get a Will.
Created as part of the AstuteWheel, a digital client engagement program, the new Estate Planning module helps financial planners walk their clients through the estate planning process, ultimately producing an estate plan briefing document which they can take to a solicitor.
Included in the process are dynamic, online family tree and estate entity diagrams, which the adviser can build with the client during their appointment to help illustrate the estate plan. Clients are also introduced to the types of questions normally asked by a lawyer when preparing a will, helping to remove some of their uncertainty and fear.
Hans Egger, who co-created the AstuteWheel with Michael Topper in 2012, said one of the number one frustrations experienced by advisers was when clients failed to protect their financial plans with a valid Will.
Most Statements of Advice have a cut and paste description of what a Will, Power of Attorney and perhaps a Testamentary Trust are, and a motherhood statement that the client should see a solicitor to get everything implemented,” Mr Egger said. “The AstuteWheel Estate Planning tools will take the estate planning discussion to the next level, ensuring that the client is best looked after within the planner’s practice; a trusted environment.”
As well as making the client feel more comfortable with the estate planning process, Mr Egger said the AstuteWheel helped expedite the work usually completed by a law firm, saving them time and money.
“Having an estate plan prepared entirely by a solicitor is an expensive option. The other problem with this approach is the solicitor may simply take instructions from the client, which may result in an estate plan that does not take into consideration the client’s overall financial position, tax consequences, superannuation assets or insurance.The AstuteWheel Estate Planning solution helps remove these risks.”