Asset Retention via Great Planning

Ian Stuart08-25-2023

As professionals, we strive to provide excellent client experiences. No one’s process is perfect. You may realize you need a better appointment scheduling system, better materials or tools in the planning process, or more refined strategies for referrals afterward.


Be sure you’re not overlooking this piece of the puzzle, planning for Generational Client Retention: This especially applies to younger professionals or those looking to sell their practice prior to retirement.


The largest transference of wealth is taking place over the next few decades. Some estimate 80+ trillion dollars of wealth will be transferred from the baby boomers to their heirs/beneficiaries by 2050. This could be an incredible opportunity for your practice. If you’re not thinking of this yet, you should be.


We want you to retain your client's accounts. We don’t want you to miss out on this opportunity because their beneficiaries are fed up with the advisor who didn’t avoid these missteps...


Misstep #1

Most clients are trying to save money, which is fine in most regards! However, some financial professionals overlook a potential disservice to their clients. They only discuss the least expensive estate planning options.

  • The client’s desire to choose a Will-Based Estate Plan due to cost alone.
    • The difference in cost between a Will-Based or Trust-Based Estate Plan (TBEP) is only $200.
    • Unless they meet some of the following criteria, they should seriously consider a TBEP.
      • They live in a state without probate processes.
      • They rent their home.
      • They have no minor children or young adults as dependents.
      • They have no life insurance.
      • Their only asset is an IRA.


  • Probate will likely cost more than the additional $200 for a TBEP. It’s usually thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.


  • Initially choosing a Testamentary Trust.
    • Unless you are working with a client that you can GUARANTEE will alter their estate planning documents in the future, you are potentially costing the estate a substantial amount of money in court costs and legal fees in the future.
    • Furthermore, if you are working with a client that will come back to alter their entire Estate Plan when they obtain a higher net worth, they are now paying again for the new Estate Plan.


Did you notice that they didn’t save any money in either scenario?

Misstep #2

Financial Professionals fail to fund the trust AND follow up regarding funding.

  • Some professionals are skipping this crucial step altogether.
    • By leaving a trust unfunded, you create unnecessary work for successor trustees. Fund the trust and review this periodically if you want to retain the account.
  • Professionals fail to update the plan.
    • Ever heard the saying, “Life happens?” Start educating your clients on the 3 H’s: Health, Home, and Happiness.
      • If their health has changed
      • If their home has changed
      • If their happiness (meaning relationships) has changed

...They may need to amend their Estate Plan.

Good news! This is a straightforward process, and it’s relatively inexpensive, too. Encore currently charges $125 to amend a plan they created.

Misstep #3

Professionals are not checking to see if their clients have a plan or are taking the client’s word that it’s up to date.

  • No Financial Plan is complete without an Estate Plan.
  • No Estate Plan is in good order unless it reflects their current situation.


Moving Forward

For those of you that say, “Probate is a breeze in my state,” you’re not in the beneficiary's shoes. You can’t possibly anticipate what life has in store for them.

Try not to make assumptions that may be the catalyst that devalues your book of business later in life. And one of the most important takeaways- save this generation the headache and heartache of going through probate! Help them skip it altogether!

Let’s talk about how these missteps affect you during this unprecedented transfer of wealth. Their beneficiaries are not going to leave your office with positive remarks when they find out…

  • They are going through probate.
  • Their second stepmother was still listed as a beneficiary.
  • You failed to suggest a deed transfer on their parent’s new condo in Florida.

Think about how hard you worked to get that initial client. Do you think the successor trustee is going to keep the assets with you?

We suggest you plan for the worst, hope for the best, and retain the estate’s assets in the process.

Ian Stuart

Ian Stuart