Life insurance agents now help clients with estate planning, wealth preservation, retirement planning and long-term care planning.
The founders of Everplans hope to add another bread-and-butter service: help with personal knowledge transfer.
The New York-based company’s online service gives users a structured way to store the basic information loved ones, or outside estate administrators, would need to manage the users’ affairs, such as phone and email passwords; information about homes and home maintenance arrangements; health information; financial information; legal documents; and information about funeral arrangements.
Abby Schneiderman, one of the company’s co-chief executive officers, said in a recent interview that consumers have an obvious need for, and interest in, getting professional help with organizing their information.
“There’s a lot more that financial professionals can be doing,” Schneiderman said. ”More and more people are interested in getting this kind of help.”
Life insurance agents have an obvious reason to provide the help, because the only way life insurance arrangements will work as clients expect is if heirs or administrators can locate information about the life insurance, Schneiderman said.
“We think no life insurance policy should be sold without it being known to your Everplans family,” Schneiderman said in a recent interview.
Schneiderman and the other Everplans co-CEO, Adam Seifer, came up from the digital startup community.
Schneiderman, for example, founded an early music social media organization. She also helped run a startup incubator. She came up with the idea for Everplans while using a wedding planning service. She began thinking of web services that do, or could, help people with various stages of life.
At some point, she asked herself, “Who’s helping people deal with death?”
She and Seifer organized Everplans in 2012.
The company obtained a $6.4 million round of venture funding — from Transamerica Ventures and RGAx, a Reinsurance Group of America affiliate — in 2016.
RGAx began working to help Everplans promote its service in October 2017. The list of companies offering the service as a benefit for their customers includes Kansas City Life Insurance Company and Western & Southern Financial Group Inc.
Other companies are also marketing themselves as natural homes for life insurance policyholders’ personal documents and information.
Haven Life, for example, recently said it would market digital safe deposit services from LifeSite with its Haven Life Plus living benefits package.
AfterVault.com is another company that advertises its ability to store a user’s life insurance information.
Schneiderman said she believes Everplans is different from competitors because of its large library of estate planning documents, and because of all of the help the site gives a user with the information organizing and management processes.
Everplans has commissioned consumer research on personal knowledge transfer from Cerulli Associates.
Cerulli found, for example, that 40% of consumers say they have seriously considered writing down information about their online accounts, but that only 22% have done so.
For financial professionals, helping clients with organizing personal information can be a great way to deepen the entire relationship, Schneiderman said.
Depending on what clients want, and allow, financial professionals may be able to sit with their clients as the clients enter personal information.
“That’s a really nice way of working together,” Schneiderman said.
In some cases, financial professionals may even go into clients’ homes, or send professional organizers into clients’ homes, to help the clients find and organize their papers.
Everplans offers individual users access to its service for $75 per year.
Financial professionals can get the right to offer clients an unlimited number of seats for an annual fee of $3,500 per advisor.
About 46% of Everplans clients invited to activate an Everplans account by an advisor do so.
One “super activator” attracted more than 100 new Everplans users, by putting information about the service in the office Christmas cards.
— Read Estate, Legacy Planning Tech Startup Everplans Gets $6.4M Investment, on ThinkAdvisor.