Digital estate planning tools are becoming a trend for advisor technology, as more investment advisory firms look to expand their services for clients into areas beyond investment management and financial planning.
White-label wealth tech provider Marstone is the latest, announcing today an integration with the will and estate plan startup FreeWill.
“This partnership fits in quite well with our mission of making sure that we offer the tools necessary for our end-users to get their entire financial house in order,” said Christopher LaVine, CFO and head of strategy at Marstone.
The integration, he said, makes it easy for clients of advisors using the Marstone platform to create legal and financial planning documents for free.
RIAs, or advisors or reps with an independent broker/dealer, wondering how this experience might look for a client can envision a button on their website or client portal, customized for their firm, inviting the client to learn more about wills and estate planning that in turn leads to a branded page on the FreeWill site. As with most features of the Marstone suite, advisory firms can turn this on or off.
FreeWill uses a simple interface to guide clients through answering basic questions about themselves and their wishes. The end result is a document that can be printed and signed in front of witnesses or a notary public so that it becomes a valid legal document.
The startup also has a network, currently made up of 11 lawyers across several states, called FreeWill Fellows, that end users can engage if they need human assistance; FreeWill has online resources helping advisors locate estate attorneys in their area. (There will be costs associated with engaging an attorney, and rates will vary.)
Marstone, which debuted in 2013, provides advisors a technology platform called Powered by Marstone with digital onboarding, financial planning and wellness tools, and a white-label robo advisor. Marstone’s many partnerships and integrations with advisor-tech firms include Albridge (performance reporting), DocuSign (e-signature), LexisNexis (compliance and verification) and Plaid (account aggregation), among others. The firm is also multicustodial, enabling advisors to custody assets with Apex Clearing, Interactive Brokers and Pershing.
The Powered by Marstone suite can be used by institutional clients, which includes investment firms, banks, credit unions, and insurance companies to provide digital account opening and money transfer, external account aggregation, a customized risk tolerance questionnaire, portfolio proposal, and portfolio management capabilities to their clients.