Written by: EstateBox
You can do a lot of things with technology these days; order groceries, see your doctor remotely or even sign a will (if you’re in British Columbia).
For advisors and other estate planning professionals, technology has the potential to change the way you interact with your clients—for the better.
Let’s explore how embracing technology can give you a fuller picture of your clients’ estate plans and strengthen your client relationships along the way.
Technology makes it easier than ever to stay connected with your clients, no matter how busy their schedules are. A quick Zoom check-in is much easier to fit into a hectic schedule than clients spending valuable travel time to meet in your office. Video calls are also great for putting names to faces, especially when furry friends or kids crash the meeting.
While in person meetings are still valuable, they may not be feasible for all your clients, especially those with disabilities or health concerns. Giving clients the option of what type of meeting they prefer can help them feel safe and in control.
Technology also allows for better intergenerational family collaboration by keeping all family members involved, especially if they don’t live in the same area. This can help you build relationships with younger generations so, when they need advice or support, they know you’re a trusted figure they can turn to.
In fact, 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.
The mostly analog nature of finance and estate planning work means there are plenty of opportunities for important details to be overlooked. This is where an estate planning platform like EstateBox is so valuable. With a platform designed specifically to organize and store important documents, you have access to a full picture of your clients’ lives and financial situations. This way, you can provide holistic advice based on your clients’ unique circumstances.
And unlike messy paperwork, nothing will fall through the cracks.
With a platform like EstateBox, clients can upload their information from home and share it with you, allowing you to familiarize yourself with their unique lives before you meet them in-person or over a video call. This paves the way for deeper, more meaningful conversations from the star, and helps you prepare for your first meeting with questions tailored to your clients’ situation.
Using technology also allows for better collaboration between other professionals who can provide your clients advice based on their specialization. Even if it’s out of your scope of practice, your clients can count on you to bring in a professional you trust to provide the same level of advice your clients expect from you. If a client already trusts you, why should they wade through hundreds of reviews to find other trustworthy professionals?
In the past, technology was something that businesses could use to set themselves apart from the competition but it wasn’t make or break. According to Sharon Hartung, a world-leading expert on innovation in the estates sector, that’s not the case anymore; now it’s a necessity.
At the BC Estates Forum last year, she warned:
“Now that clients have spent the past entire year getting comfortable online, they will have expectations that their advisors have gone digital too… If you aren't using a creation technique online with your clients or you don't have a website, you're going to fall behind.”
When online banking was first introduced to the US by Stanford Federal Credit Union in 1994, it was hugely innovative but not every financial institution offered it. Financial institutions could get by without it but today, you’d be hard pressed to find a bank or credit union that doesn’t offer online banking.
COVID-19 forced us all online and today we’re more comfortable than ever ordering groceries, doing our banking, signing documents and taking part in remote appointments of all kinds. We expect our financial and legal professionals to use technology as well. Millennials' communication style is more digital than previous generations.
In 2022, embracing technology will ensure that your clients are getting the most value from your services. It will save you and your clients both time and money by making the onboarding and discovery processes more efficient. And it will give you the insights you need to provide better advice and make deep, lasting relationships with your clients and their families.
EstateBox is revolutionizing the way people handle life and legacy planning by creating a simple and automated digital platform. Think of it as a virtual “box” containing all the important details, documents, and digital assets in a client’s life. Users can control who accesses and views key information so that all advisors in their ecosystem can collaborate and provide exhaustive advice based on real-time data and insights surrounding their estate.
HeyAdvisor is a digital content library for Canadian financial advisors. We provide infographics and videos that can easily be integrated with email and social media. Review our plans here.