Legacy Planning Checklist for Advisors & Insurance Agents

Legacy planning checklist

We recently discussed how COVID -19 has shifted focus toward legacy planning ventures for many individuals. From business owners to families, people have started taking estate planning much more seriously. We made a checklist for individuals [h1] that included the number of actionable tips to enact as soon as possible, and we are going to do the same here for insurance agents.

So, without further delays, here is a checklist that you should keep with you when helping any client with their legacy and financial planning ventures.

A Checklist for Insurance Advisors for Legacy Planning

Step 1.              Explain the Difference Between Estate & Legacy Planning

Address the needs of your clients by discussing both options with them before you embark on the long journey ahead. This is where you start building trust.

Step 2.              Consider Client’s Vision for Their Family’s Future

Discuss the following to get a better understanding of what exactly they are looking to accomplish.

  1. What do they want to pass down to their children/grandchildren
  2. Any short, medium and long term goals
  3. Whether the current financial position of the client is sufficient to meet said goals
  4. Consider any unique circumstances such as disabilities, multiple marriages, liabilities and more
  5. Whether the heirs are of sound mind and of age

Step 3.              Gather Client’s Documents

Once the vision is clear, it is time to start implementing it. Start collecting documents necessary for smooth transition after the client’s death. This can include numerous documents, some of which include:

  1. Wills,
  2. Trusts,
  3. List of beneficiaries,
  4. Certificates (including birth certificate),
  5. Retirement plan information,
  6. Deeds,
  7. Tax information, and more.

Step 4.              Discuss Who Gets the Power of Attorney

Ask your client who they trust with your legacy as a whole and would be responsible for making decisions about your legacy. This will include:

  1. Assigning financial power of attorney
  2. Creating a living will
  3. Long-term care insurance and beneficiaries
  4. Healthcare power of attorney and more

Step 5.              Create a Succession Plan for the Client

Next, discuss who will take over the client’s business and ask for any specific instructions to be followed. Two main considerations here include:

  1. Who will take your place in the business
  2. Who will take your place in the business
  3. Who will take your place in the business

Step 6.              Take Inventory

In this step, you will have to create a list of all the assets your client has – not just physical, but digital as well. Create a schedule to update the collected documents, inventory and legacy plan as a whole.

Step 7.              Store Documents & the “Legacy Plan” Safely

Once you have all the necessary documents collected, it is time to store them safely for the client and their family to find. There are digital vaults that you can store such information in and give access only to the clients themselves, and their family after the client has passed.

Legacy Armour can help you here with our secure vaults designed specifically to protect legacies until the time comes. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you create bullet-proof legacies, get in touch with us at 844-875-3422 or email us at info@legacyarmour.com.

Objections in Insurance Sales – How Can You Overcome Them?

Selling insurance and legacy planning tools on call

When it comes to handling customers as an insurance agent, there are four major objections that you’ll have to handle throughout your career:

  1. Price and risk involved,
  2. Quality of service you’re providing,
  3. The trust and relationships you build over the course of your career, and
  4. Decision stalls, where you have to keep asking customers for their decisions.

Whether it’s a matter of legacy planning, life insurance, wills or even just a simple matter of estate planning, you’ll always have to overcome hurdles. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the “perfect sale.”

One of the most common reasons sales aren’t successful are customer objections in insurance sales, and one of the best ways to resolve these objections is to understand them. You, as an insurance agent, need to understand how you can make your audiences engage with you positively and why people might not want to work with you.

Here are our observations about these objections, which helped us build much better relationships with our customers:

People Generally Don’t Like Change

To satisfy customers, you need to head to their turf. Clients – especially those you call – are satisfied with what they have. Yes, you know better about what additional or different insurance policies or products they’d need, but you must take into consideration what Newton said,

“Things that are in motion tend to stay in motion, and those at rest tend to remain at rest unless an external force is applied to them.”

You need to have all the relevant information at the ready to help your clients understand why change is necessary and the costs involved (for them).

The Price – It’s Almost Always the Price

Regardless of whether you’re charging more or less for the same insurance policy, it will always present itself as a hurdle. Yes, lower prices may be less of a hurdle, but it raises a question; why are they charging me less for the same? Is there something wrong with their service?

You need to explain the price difference to your customers in detail and how it affects their insurance or legacy planning.

If high annual payments are a concern, remember to show customers how smaller monthly payments would be better-suited.

“Let Me Ask the Partner”

If there are gatekeepers, there will always be a delay. If people need to check with someone else, chances are that you will have to convince another member of the same household. This presents a stall, where you might end up having to explain your position again.

Keep a cool head and continue to do your best. If you noticed any objections the first person had, hint at them subtly until the other person asks about the same in detail. STICK TO YOUR PITCH. Make amends, not drastic changes.

Customers Looking to Negotiate

As an insurance agent, you know well enough that negotiation isn’t usually on the table unless you’re in an executive position. But as a person buying insurance, it is natural to always look for more insurance against less money.

Be sure to listen to what the clients want and if you can create a custom plan for them that reduces costs and gives them what they want, go for it. Usually, customers aren’t clear about what they want. They don’t know much about their options, so they’ll simply highlight the most important aspects for them in an insurance policy or financial planning.

See if they mention anything manageable, such as a slight amendment in a given plan.

Handling clients in the heat of the moment is trickier than it seems. You might see more and more options in hindsight, but being present in the moment is much harder. At Legacy Armour, we’re here to help you increase your clientele with tailored advice as and when you need it, along with a safe haven for your client’s documents and legacy planning ventures. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today via call or mail

Business Resilience & Continuity – Legacy Protection for the Protectors

Protection for the protectors

The harsh realities of work from home are catching up to everyone as the whole world relies on it more and more. People are getting grumpier, businesses are getting beaten and battered, and most are failing to hold their own and ensure continuity.

Insurance agencies are no different. If you failed to embrace the cloud or foresee the impacts of COVID-19 on the insurance sector, chances are that you are having some trouble right now.

Here, we’ll discuss how you can poise your business to become more resilient and ensure the business secession planning you had in place remains valid once things come back to normal.

Supporting Remote Work 

We’ve discussed this several times in our past blogs, as much of a shock working from home was for the insurance sector, making sure you have the right systems to accommodate employees and clients from a distance is one of the most important things you need to focus on right now.

A report by KPMG (TH & Co.) suggests that insurance agencies put in just 2-3 weeks instead of 2-3 years to upgrade their systems – and those that did it beforehand are poised as the next market leaders now.

Hiring & Retirements – During & Post-COVID

The medium-term future holds a huge shift in workforce. Not only are employees bound to get frustrated and resign, but clients’ needs are also going to change. When hiring new staff or letting some go, make sure you keep new requirements in mind.

Update your job descriptions, ask employees to be realistic about their performances and what you’re expecting, reevaluate your agency’s directions as an agency, and consider the immediate and longer-term future. Your main concern here should be staffing the right individuals for your clients.

Encouraging Word of Mouth 

If your clients are in recession, chances are that you’re going to be in the same boat too, struggling for a way out to improve your and their investment portfolio and stay afloat. When that happens, it’s time to be compassionate and flexible.

Digital marketing has changed quite a bit because of the coronavirus as business flock towards it left and right. One surefire way of helping you stand out of the crowd is to make sure people remember you for your service and let others know of what you’re offering.

Word of mouth is the best form of marketing and clients who are spreading the word about you are perhaps your biggest assets.

A Business Resilience Plan

And finally, developing a resilience and a business succession plan. To do so, you need to consider the following aspects:

  • Do you have the right tools for the market’s shifting demand?
  • Are you future-proof? Is there anything that could render you outdated? If so, what’s stopping you from getting those updates?
  • Are you primed for remote work?
  • Is your workload manageable or is it overwhelming?
  • How can you ensure maximum availability and training of these tools?
  • Do you have the right tools to help you support workers as well as clients?
  • Do you have a rainy-day fund or a rainy-day plan?
  • Do you have an insurance plan, should the day come when you need to wind up?

If you find yourself answering negatively to any of these questions, you might be in trouble in the near future. Going online is perhaps one of the best things you can do for your clients – and even for the workers. At Legacy Armour, we can help you manage your clients and ensure their peace of mind, starting today.

Any tool you need, we’ve got your back – from legacy planning storage all the way to customer and their family facilitation. Get in touch today to learn how!

Cryptocurrency Insurance Coverage – Can I Rely on My Insurance Provider to Protect Me?

Litecoin, Bitcoin, and Ethereum

Cryptocurrency and bitcoin security has always been a fickle thing in terms of insurance. With more than 7% of Americans owning cryptocurrency, the demand for this relatively secure asset is still on the rise. As the global interest in cryptocurrency increases, governments are also looking at the asset closely now.

Kimmelman v. Wayne Insurance Group is a prime example of what we just discussed.

The asset has also found its way into many a financial and legacy planning discussions as people continue to consider it a viable option for their investment portfolio.

However, the question remains; can you rely on your insurance agents to protect you or your family in case of unexpected loss of cryptocurrency?

Answer to this lies in the case we mentioned above. To put it simply, it depends on whether your cryptocurrency is held in the capacity of property or money.

Bitcoin Security From Insurance Agencies

In the case above, Kimmelman sought coverage for his bitcoin portfolio that amounted to roughly $16,000, which was recently stolen.

The insurer’s policy claimed that they cover “personal property owned or used by an insured anywhere in the world.”Furthermore, the liability would be limited to $200 on money, bank notes, gold, silver, value cards and more according to the same document.

Insurance agent’s investigators concluded that the bitcoin was money, and therefore a compensation of only $200 was sanctioned.

Soon after, the two found themselves in court, one claiming that it was money and the other simply claiming compensation. The Ohio state court determined that the insurer would make the insured whole since virtual currency was not considered money, but property.

This was solely based on IRS Notice 2014-21 which treated cryptocurrency as property for tax purposes, not money. From then onwards, any unexpected loss on ‘virtual currency’ – including bitcoin – is considered to be a loss of property.

Cryptocurrency Finding Its Way Into Legacy Planning

The rise of virtual currency began in 2015 and gradually found its way to where it is now, the peak point being in 2017. Although the currency’s value keeps fluctuating every now and then, people who purchased the currency back when it was cheap have gained immensely from it.

So, it’s natural for them to want to pass it on to their loved ones after their death. We have had many clients who are including cryptocurrency in legacy planning with a prime focus on bitcoin security.

Armour Legacy offers you a safe place to get a will made and store information about how to access your assets after you’ve passed on. Our vaults are secure and flexible, meaning you can give access to people you trust, be it family, your health executives, financial advisors and more.

The idea is to make sure your family doesn’t have to go through any sort of hassle after you pass on and get what you want them to have seamlessly! Let us help you understand how this works in more detail. Write to us and we’ll call you right back!

Legacy Planning & Life Insurance – How Well Do They Sit Together?

Life Insurance & Legacy Planning

Taking the current financial situation into account, there is no telling when your investment portfolio may improve or face a downfall similar to that of the 2008 recession. Today, when it comes to legacy and financial planning, wealth preservation is at the top of any financial advisor’s list, telling clients to manage their assets and ‘brace for impact’.

The current volatility faced by the economy has changed how insurance policies work, bringing legacy planning and life insurance much closer to each other. Transferring wealth to the next generation has become simple and complicated at the same time.

Do Legacy Planning & Life Insurance Actually Go Together?

If you asked a financial advisor about life insurance and business succession planning, most would have told you, about a year ago, that legacy planning is a way to transfer funds and your business to your family. Life insurance, on the other hand, would be defined as a way of securing your financial obligations or family’s income.

However, today, they are both considered very closely since life insurance is also a legacy and the whole idea behind legacy planning is to leave behind something for your family after you’re gone. This is what we call “Legacy Protection.

Life Insurance

When considering family legacy protection plans, you can use your funds from a 401(k) account or IRA to fulfill your life insurance policies just as well, not just for your own children, but also your grandchildren, thus providing financial security to even more lives.

While you or your parents might be receiving Social Security, you might be well aware of the uncertainty that revolves around the prospect. Our younger generations may not be as lucky if they decide to half or all-out finish the social security system. Pension options are also being taken away by most employers nowadays in attempts to tackle the COVID-19 economic downfall.

Legacy Planning

People who usually include their whole investment portfolio in their wills or trusts often forget about the insurance policies they buy. You as a family man shouldn’t have to worry about it, since this is an insurance agent’s responsibility. A good insurance agent or financial advisor will regularly remind you about the face value of your investment portfolio and the benefits offered by your insurance plan.

The idea is that once you pass away, your family should be aware of the funds to claim and how. Legacy planning is what comes to the rescue here. From life insurance to business succession plans, trusts and more, everything is listed in your legacy plan.

Legacy Armor to Help You Make Things Easier

Paper wills and legacy plans have a way of either being mismanaged or ‘forgotten’ about. The world has seen a rather drastic shift and reliance on the internet due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and the insurance sector is no different.

For that, we offer an online portal where you can manage your legacy and access it anywhere, anytime. The idea is to help you take your legacy mobile and explain to people close to you – your family – what they should be looking for and where. To learn more about it, we urge you to get in touch with one of our insurance agents today!

Coronavirus & Estate Uncertainty – Effects on Legacy Planning & Impending Future Prospects

Future prospects of the industry

There has been a 143% week-on-week increase in the number of wills since the lockdown started, a figure that is predicted to go up to 220% soon. Before 2019, people believed that legacy planning and creating a will was only for the rich; but that trend is changing. It is now understood that anyone wanting to secure their assets and protect their family needs to have a will.

The lockdowns have resulted in heavy reliance on the internet, taking even estate planning online; something for which presence of all parties was crucial. These impacts might seem to be short-lived, or perhaps until the COVID-19 lockdowns remain, but there are chances that they might also stick around, impacting the future of the insurance industry altogether.

From financial planning to business succession and legacy planning, everything might find itself online.

Potential Future Impacts on Legacy Planning

Insurance companies that already had online systems in place faced a certain setback when they upgraded their systems, since the transition took a little while not only to get implemented but also to get used to.

However, this small setback at the time was well worth it, as those who had optimized their online infrastructure fared much better once the lockdowns began, reaping the rewards of a less-competed market. To add fuel to the fire, the market wasn’t just less-competed,but also more demanding than ever!

At the start, the market saw almost a 40% increase in demand immediately. As insurance companies took on more and more clients, the demand only increased. Financial advisors played a major role in this as well, as they asked clients with a diverse investment portfolio to create wills.

This was followed by the drops in share prices, even of shares belonging to market leaders. Case in point; Vermillion Energy Inc. (NYSE:VET).

Legacy Planning And Force Majeure – How Insurance Claims Are Being Treated During COVID-19

Force majeure means “superior force,” and is a major part of many a contract. It includes a set of events that are out of either party’s control, such as war, acts of terrorism, natural disasters, epidemics, or restraints set forth my governing authorities that may result in a claimable loss.

In the case of COVID-19, force majeure is applicable wherever government restrictions (the lockdowns) are preventing, restricting or delaying performance of any clause included within the will.

However, if the clause isn’t included in the will itself, force majeure isn’t applicable. You should advise your clients about any force majeure clauses before letting them sign a contract.

It is important to note that most insurance companies are including the clause within their contracts because of the COVID-19 situation.

The Change in Estate Planning: Helping Clients Protect Their Family & Businesses

legacy planning, insurance, financial planning, protect family, business succession planning, insurance agent, financial advisor, investment portfolio

It is no secret that people yearn to make lives for their children and spouses easier after they’re gone. While wills are a great way of doing that, clients are shifting towards trusts as well now, seeing as how it can be the perfect way to support them financially.

A trust is like a gift from the person who passed away to those they left behind, as it takes effect immediately. It is in an intended beneficiary’s name, reducing the amount of paperwork and procedures that one needs to go through.

Furthermore, trusts can also reduce the estate tax implications and isn’t subject to challenges in probate courts as wills are, further reducing the hassle for whomever the trust is founded. Recommending a trust to your clients can go a long way towards furthering their legacy planning ventures.

However, trusts and wills are entirely different things; so make sure you have the requisite knowledge before recommending it.

As the insurance industry goes into a ‘digital’ state, there is a certain uncertainty revolving the matter of estates. Existing clients are getting antsier and new ones are also equally troubled. We recommend using online tools for now, as there are chances (because of the reduced operating costs they offer) that they are going to stick around even after the lockdown.

Legacy Armour offers a tool for insurance agents to make the most out of this online shift in the industry, offering a streamlined way of handling clients and their real estate planning. Get in touch today to learn more!

How COVID-19 Affects My Legacy Planning – Should I Revisit My Will?

Making an informed decision about your will

The COVID-19 pandemic has had deep impacts on every element of our daily lives – our insurance policies and legacy planning being no exception. Many people, be it businessmen or families, have been forced to consider ‘what ifs’ that were previously a non-issue.

As estate planning sees a surge in interest rates, words like family protection and business succession planning are being thrown around judiciously by financial advisors and insurance agents. But a question arises; is this just people being people or are these concerns actually well-founded? Should I really revisit my will?

Here, we shall explain the effects of COVID-19 on legacy planning and try to present the situation as is to help you make an informed decision.

Should I Revisit My Legacy Planning – Getting Down to Brass Tacks

A straightforward answer is “yes.” However, it’s slightly more complicated than just saying that.

Insurance companies across the globe are looking for governments and regulatory bodies for aid in these trying times, but haven’t imposed any extra costs or expenses to your estate or its planning yet. However, the “all-online” structure that the pandemic is promoting might mean that it would be smart to update your will, even if you have a solid will in place.

This might include taking it online. There are chances that the SOPs set in place during the lockdown might stick around even after the pandemic is over.

Effects of COVID-19 on Wills

As of the time of writing this, the standard rules of insurance claims in the case of someone passing away will be applicable. If you don’t have a will, an administrator will be assigned to your estate and who it is passed on to, including business succession.

However, having a will that reflects your wishes will mean that, although the process might be slightly slower, it will be the same. Since face-to-face interactions are very limited, liquidating the estate might be more hectic than normal.

It is important to note here that while nothing in terms of wills has changed, the overall value of the assets you have left for your family’s protection might not be the same. This is especially true if you wish to transfer shares to your children or spouse.

This presents an ‘unfairness’ issue, that while some might inherit more, others might end up getting less. One would think that this problem would go away once the COVID-19 situation has reverted. However, several companies are facing bankruptcy right now or are about to, which would end up rendering those shares or even your whole investment portfolio useless.

Challenges Presented by COVID-19 When It Comes to Preparing New Wills

Since the presence of lawyers, insurance agents and you yourself (depending on the situation) is necessary for the preparation of a will, the social distancing aspect has halted this process almost completely.

While governments have been called upon for a remediation of this issue, the problem is that allowing either party to not be present during the signing of the will may present a significant risk of fraud. Yet, this has resulted in the Executive Order 2020-14.

This legislation dictates that documents such as Wills, Powers of Attorney and Appointments of Enduring Guardian can be witnessed and notarized online until the pandemic ensues. Following are some requirements to keep in mind:

  • The audio-video connection must not be interrupted at any time. Both parties must be able to properly see, hear and communicate.
  • The call should be recorded and saved for up to 3 years after it takes place.
  • Signatory must state and agree to the name of the document being signed on the call.
  • Each page signed or initialed must be presented clearly on the video so as to be legible.
  • The signing act must be captured on video.
  • A legible copy signed document in its entirety should be sent to witness(es) no later than one day after signing.

The notarization should include at least:

  • Signature of the notary, their seal, title, commission and expiry.
  • Any information required by law in regards to the date and place of the notarization process.
  • Conform to the Notary Public Act of the state.
  • There must be a clear indication of the fact that the signing and acknowledgement was done remotely.

Legacy Armour in Times of COVID-19

As a rough timeline comes into view about when all of this will be over (year-end or early 2021, based on the progress of COVID-19 vaccine), the curve is starting to rise. This means that the insurance sector as a whole has a while before it recovers from the state this pandemic has put it in.

However, Legacy Armour continues to operate online and offers quick, easy solutions to your legacy and estate planning worries. From online meetings to signing and will delivery, everything is done in a manner so as to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Furthermore, with Legacy Armour’s vaults and planning templates, your will is not only more secure and thorough but also more accessible to your family to provide you with peace of mind when it comes to family protection or business succession planning. For assistance or more on the subject, we recommend you get in touch today via call or email!

How Insurance Agents Can Integrate Digital and Offline Marketing

Insurance marketing

In the current digital age, having an online presence is crucial to all organizations. The advent of insurtech in the insurance industry has helped many organizations scale their operations and grow their customer base. Therefore, insurance digital marketing is a great way to take your business to the next level.

These days, people spend most of their time online. In fact, before they reach out to any business, they tend to read about it online. In this article, we take a look at how you, as an insurance agent, can combine the traditional methods of marketing with digital marketing to increase your revenue flow.

How to Combine Digital And Offline Marketing Strategies

For insurance companies, increasing sales revenue has always been a challenge. Not every sales strategy can lead you to the right customers. This is why it is important to exhaust all available options to maximize your sales.

1. Combine Social Media with Live Events

If used properly, social media can turn out to be a great marketing tool for your business. Its different features allow an organization to have a real-time connection with their clients or prospects. Combining social media with your live events is a powerful strategy that will help you build strong relations with your clients. For the optimum use of social media, here’s what you should do:

  • Create an event, a page, or a post on popular social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter and provide all the relevant details about the event. Don’t forget to include a link for event registration in the post.
  • During the event, encourage the participants to share their experiences on social media using a hashtag.
  • Once the event is over, share the event pictures on your social media profiles and tag the people who were present there. This is a simple but effective strategy to reach out to a large number of people.

2. Relationship Marketing

Spamming a client’s inbox with promotional messages will not get you any response. On the other hand, relationship marketing is a more effective method to build a connection with your clients. Using the information logged by your clients, you can send personalized messages such as holiday and birthday greetings to your clients. Loyal clients, with whom you have established a strong relationship, will not only be willing to work with you in the future, but they are also more likely to refer you to their friends and family. This way, you can increase your client base through your existing clients.

3. Digital Campaigns and Referrals

Many people hesitate while asking for referrals from their clients. To overcome this hesitation, the best way is to use digital tools to ask for referrals. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Create high-quality digital content and share it on your profile to reach out to your existing audience. Your audience is likely to share meaningful and valuable content that talks about financial planning, legacy planning, etc., shared by you.
  • This act of sharing is an endorsement, making your client’s family and friends reach out to you.

To reach out to more people, you can use the feature of social sharing for sales. For this, you must share a credible article from a reliable site. For example, if you are selling health insurance policies, you can share an article such as, ‘5 Best Foods for a Healthy Heart’. When your target clients click on your share, the article will appear on the left while on the right hand side of the page, your prospects will see the call-to-action or CTA. The CTA is designed to convince online visitors to reach out to you and learn more about your services.

The Final Word

By following the online and offline marketing tips mentioned above, you can reach out to more prospects and take your business to greater heights.