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Visual estate planning tool increases engagement

On this week’s Wealth Professional TV, Hans Egger, founder and creator of the Astute Wheel explains how new software will help engage clients with the importance of the estate planning process.

Video transcript below:

Reporter:  Engaging clients with the estate planning process is a common challenge for most financial planners, often with limited success.  Hans Egger of Astute Wealth Advice says most clients are confused right at the start.

Hans Egger:  Well estate planning is one of the subjects that financial planners study and makes that part of the advice that we offer to our clients.  But for too long it’s been put in the too hard basket and most financial planners limit their advice to, if you don’t have a will and a power of attorney in place at the moment then maybe you should get one and that’s a conversation that’s repeated every year.

I think most of our clients don’t know where to start in the process.  They are concerned about the cost, they are concerned about finding a lawyer that they can trust to take them through the process and who can blame them because estate planning is complex and to do it properly requires the collaboration between your accountant, your lawyer and your financial planner.

Reporter:  Egger believes financial planners are very well positioned to assist.

Hans Egger:  Well financial planners are well placed to assist in the process.  We typically understand what assets you hold and where, in what entities, we understand what life insurance is in place and how superannuation and pension are treated in estate planning.  We also typically have a very good relationship with our clients and we are able to ask the more personal questions to find out if maybe the estate planning solutions required could be a bit more complex.  For instance, you may not want your 25 year old daughter in her first de facto relationship to receive a million dollars in her own hands, because that relationship may not last and that, those funds would be at risk.

Reporter:  Egger explains that Astute have added an estate planning section to their Astute Real Solution, an online tool that simplifies the process in the eyes of the client.

Hans Egger:  Well the Astute Real Solution provides a series of online steps to guide the financial planner and the client through the process.  First we build a family tree to identify all the related parties and then an entity diagram to identify any companies, trusts or super funds.  We can then visually display to the client what assets are held in various entities and how they would be treated if no will existed.  We can identify potential problems and determine possible solutions.  Finally the system generates various options for the clients to consider and produces a briefing paper for the client to take to their solicitor to confidently work through the process and get those documents in place, their will, powers of attorney, powers of guardianship and anything else that needs to be considered.

Reporter:  Egger believes the new software will help more planners and clients alike engage with the vital process of estate planning.

Hans Egger:  Yes I think financial planners finally have an easy to use suite of tools that can add real value to their clients and as a result of going through the process, clients can understand the importance of estate planning to their circumstances and there are no more obstacles for them to engage a solicitor to implement their estate plan.