Estate Planning Easier with New AI Tools

Vanilla launches AI features to help advisors quickly access key variables and apply thousands of tax and state-specific rules.

By Rethinking65

Vanilla, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, launched new tools on Oct. 19 that make it easier for advisors to provide estate planning services to high-net-worth clients.

Powered by Vanilla AI (VAI), a proprietary model built to improve the estate-planning experience, they include:

• Vanilla Estate Builder. It produces simple, easy-to-understand diagrams and interactive visualizations. Also, it automatically identifies key variables and applies thousands of tax and state-specific rules to generate a comprehensive client profile. It provides interactive diagrams, funding waterfalls, state and federal estate tax calculations and projections, and beneficiary reports for clients.

• Vanilla Scenarios. The tool allows advisors, wealth planners and estate lawyers to model multiple estate planning scenarios now and in the future to illustrate the impact of planning. Multiple scenarios — including various projections, SLATs, annual gifting, and more — can be created, saved, and layered upon existing plans. Advisors can use Vanilla Scenarios to model against complete profiles or an outline of assets.

• Vanilla Document Builder. It lets advisors offer clients on-demand estate planning documents. It enables advisors to help clients create revocable trust packages that include power-of-attorney documents, healthcare directives, and pour-over wills. Vanilla will continue to make additional planning documents available over time.

Current adopters

Firms such as Vanguard, Mariner Wealth Advisors, Balentine, Avantax, and CapSouth Wealth Management are using Vanilla to provide their advisors with technology that allows them to offer differentiated estate planning services.

“The Vanilla platform simplifies the estate planning experience for our clients and advisors, and the platform’s tools and visualizations enhance our advisors’ ability to provide intergenerational wealth planning,” said Massy Williams, principal and head of wealth management at Vanguard.

Chad Hamilton, senior vice president at Mariner Wealth Advisors, said Vanilla helps its advisors deliver more impactful discussions with clients. Mariner is an RIA based in Overland Park, Kan., with about 1,500 employees and about $66 billion in assets under management.

Over time, Vanilla will extend VAI across its platform to support ongoing advisor and client education, improve plan implementation, and identify how changes in law and regulations will impact clients’ plans.

“Leading wealth advisors are modernizing their approach so they can deliver comprehensive estate advisory services,” said Gene Farrell, CEO of Vanilla. “As more clients seek out holistic services from ‘total wealth advisors’ we believe dynamic, visual technology like Vanilla will help advisors deepen client relationships and expand share of wallet.”

For more information about the Vanilla Estate Advisory Platform, visit

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