Estate planning is a crucial aspect of personal financial management, ensuring that a person’s assets and wishes are protected and managed appropriately. With the rise of online estate planning platforms like LifeLegacy, Freewill, Trust & Will and others, the landscape of estate planning for the masses has significantly evolved. And groups like nonprofits and financial firms are seeing value in leveraging these tools to help meet the needs of their respective organizations.
But a large swath of nonprofit organizations, who are seeking to use these online will platforms as planned giving fundraising tools, are being priced out of the market due to the high subscription costs charged by some of these platforms. This means that millions of middle income donors may not have access to an online will through which they could identify their favorite charity or school as a benefactor of their estate.
Similarly, life insurance companies, banks, credit unions and employer groups see online estate planning as a valuable financial fitness tool that they can offer to prospects and clients, especially those who are significantly “under-willed.” This includes consumers who are Black (77% without a will) and Hispanic (82% without a will). But all but the largest of these financial firms cannot justify the cost of most subscription pricing models offered by online will providers which can be upwards of $100,000 per year.
The emergence of competition among these platforms brings numerous benefits to nonprofits and financial firms including lower costs and better access. And more options are better for all stakeholders.
Enhanced Accessibility and Affordability
Competition in the online estate planning market drives innovation, resulting in platforms becoming more accessible and affordable. As different platforms vie for customers, they are compelled to offer competitive pricing and improved features to attract clients. This increased competition lowers the cost barriers associated with traditional estate planning services, making them more accessible to a wider range of organizations.
Nonprofits of all sizes and types looking to use wills as a vehicle to drive more planned gifts will be able to leverage these lower cost platforms to offer free estate planning services to their mass market donors.
Lower annual subscription costs can also benefit smaller financial services companies – especially banks, credit unions, life insurers and employee benefits firms. These companies can broadly offer wills, advance health directives and financial power of attorney documents to enhance their customers’ financial fitness. The impact of these end-of-life planning tools will be especially felt in underserved communities. This effort can provide an additional benefit in enhancing an organization’s ESG initiatives.
Streamlined Processes and Efficiency
Competition fosters efficiency and innovation, driving online estate planning platforms to develop streamlined processes and reporting tools. Through automation, these platforms can simplify and expedite the estate planning process, making basic estate planning easier for more people. By leveraging intuitive user interfaces, they enhance the user experience and ensure accurate document creation and storage.
In a competitive market, online estate planning platforms strive to differentiate themselves by offering unique features and customized platforms. This diversity benefits organizations seeking estate planning services, as they can choose platforms that align with their specific needs and preferences.
Financial firms can tap into this competitive landscape to enhance their service offerings. By partnering with online estate planning platforms, they can provide tailored solutions to their clients, integrating estate planning seamlessly into their broader financial products and services. This collaboration enables financial firms to expand their offerings and build stronger client relationships.
Increased Transparency and Trust
Competition among online estate planning platforms necessitates a focus on building trust and establishing transparent practices. Platform providers understand that trust is crucial to attract and retain customers. As a result, they will strive to implement the most rigorous security measures, data protection protocols, and compliance standards to ensure the safety and confidentiality of user information.
Nonprofits and financial firms can benefit from this heightened focus on transparency and trust. By partnering with reputable online platforms, they can offer their clients reliable and secure estate planning services. This collaboration builds credibility for nonprofits and financial firms, fostering trust among their client base and potentially attracting new clients seeking reliable, easy-to-understand estate planning solutions.
Competition among online estate planning platforms greatly benefits nonprofits and financial firms. Lower subscription costs, increased accessibility, streamlined processes, customized platforms, and enhanced trust are just a few of the advantages in a more competitive landscape.
LifeLegacy has built a thorough customizable estate planning platform, reporting dashboard and AI-supported marketing support capability that can be half the cost of most other online estate planning company offerings. LifeLegacy seeks to reach a broader range of households by keeping overhead costs (including employee counts and advertising costs) low. Additionally, the higher cost alternatives typically have multiple investors to satisfy, while LifeLegacy has a small group of dedicated investors and advisors that are interested in seeing measured growth coupled with a well-managed expense structure.