Don’t be afraid of estate planning. So long as you have a good relationship with the client, then you can bring in other advisors to help meet the client’s estate planning objectives.
Our role in estate planning is actually quite familiar to us all. We simply provide cash for future delivery when it is needed most, through the sale of life insurance to maximize client goals. You may already have a client-base in need of such a service. Virtually every client has estate planning needs, which represent an opportunity for you to expand your expertise and learn something new.
There are clients who are on the cusp of needing life insurance for estate liquidity. Couples and professionals who are in their 30s and 40s and will eventually have estates worth from $10 million to $20 million make up this category. They can purchase today the level and quantity of life insurance they need down the road.
Many other prospects have estates of $10 million, $20 million, $30 million or $40 million and really need to have liquidity coverage today. This group typically consists of individuals who own or owned businesses and have money tied up in inventory, buildings and real estate–assets that aren’t very liquid. In these situations, the best way to avoid dismantling an estate to pay estate taxes is to use life insurance. You can help.
To leverage your relationships with clients and best serve their estate planning needs, there are various outlets you can use. Seeking assistance from your agency, company, a brokerage general agency, or doing joint work with a more knowledgeable agent are all options.
I personally find it most effective to work jointly with a brokerage general agency. The agency, with an attorney on staff, takes all the information on the prospective client and develops the case. Within 48 hours, I receive a proposal branded with my company name to present to the prospective client. It’s quite efficient.
Connecting with estate planning clients
The most important and perhaps most difficult part of our business is developing strong relationships with our clients. Once agents have achieved that bond, they should be the point person for pretty much everything the client wishes to do, including estate planning. If a sound relationship is not formed from the beginning, the agent runs the risk of missing out on a great deal of revenue and potentially losing the client to an agent who can immediately make a connection and take care of all their financial needs.