Over the past several years, there has been a great deal written about artificial intelligence (AI) from an investment perspective. And to be sure, AI and robotics are disruptive, industry-altering concepts.
Indeed, AI proliferation is disrupting the financial advisory industry, but not just in the ways many advisors think of first, such as automated investing platforms. As FP Alpha proves, AI has tangible benefits in everyday endeavors, including estate planning. That’s right. Estate planning – one of the pillars of advisors’ offerings – can be enhanced thanks to AI.
“Our tool uses AI to ‘read’ documents such as estate documents, tax returns and insurance policies, therefore reducing the burden of time-consuming manual tasks traditionally done by the advisor,” says Andrew Altfest, CFP and Founder of FP Alpha and President of Altfest Personal Wealth Management.
AI Angles on Estate Planning
To the point about disrupting estate planning for the better with AI, FP Alpha has developed first-of-its-kind technology known as the “The Estate Snapshot.”
More clients are asking for services beyond investment portfolios, including insurance, tax planning and, yes, estate planning, Altfest says. In fact, a recent Spectrum Group survey indicates that 92% of clients want more assistance of estate planning, but only 22% are getting the service they desire.
“It’s not because we as advisors don’t care about estate planning,” continues Altfest. “It’s because there hasn’t been technology that will enable us advisors to efficiently help with estate planning.”
Today, the estate planning process is inefficient, document-intensive, and time-consuming for advisors. In other words, it’s ripe for an overhaul and AI can provide that need refreshing. Along those lines, FP Alpha and The Estate Snapshot were born out of the need for AI in the estate planning arena. With FP Alpha and The Estate Snapshot on their side, advisors can harness the power of AI for more efficient, lucrative estate planning services.
The Estate Snapshot is produced because of applying AI technology to read documents such as wills and trusts which then summarizes them into a client deliverable with easy-to-follow visuals, including flowcharts, allowing the advisor to best review the distribution of assets, identify key individuals, and explain potential scenarios to their clients.
It also is easy to implement. Simply upload clients’ wills, trusts and power of attorney documents, and the tool summarizes the documents, eliminating the need for advisors to manually read them. Advisors then can use the personalized deliverable, which summarizes and visualizes the client’s distribution plan, during client meetings.
With a comprehensive advanced planning profile for each client, advisors will be able to expand their services, highlight more planning opportunities and generate more revenue – without adding additional staff or requiring their teams to learn anything new.
“The scalability is phenomenal,” says Martin Shenkman, J.D, respected author, and estate planning expert. “I think not 99%, but 100% of financial advisors should be involved in the estate planning process in a way that’s appropriate. There are huge contributions, huge value add, huge goodwill.”
Some larger advisory firms may have attorneys on staff or the resources to hire outside council, but smaller practices may eschew estate planning because they lack the expertise or capital to hire lawyers. FP Alpha provides smaller advisory practices with the tools they need to leverage AI to become estate planning masters.
Breaking the Mold
FP Alpha and The Estate Snapshot go beyond the norm in estate planning in another way as well. A typical estate plan is, well, chock full of documents and reads like a boring academic textbook. On the other hand, The Estate Snapshot is visual and potentially compelling to younger client bases – something many lawyers aren’t adept at.
“We have a client base that’s getting older and advisors are trying to establish relationships with the next generation. Estate planning is a huge opportunity,” adds Altfest.
Bottom line: Backed by more than 40 subject matter experts with experience across 16 financial disciplines, FP Alpha has breadth necessary to bring estate planning to life for advisors and improve client outcomes.