Helping clients be 'ReadyWhen' a loved one passes

New estate planning platform was borne out of personal experience and allows advisors to be active in the process

Helping clients be 'ReadyWhen' a loved one passes

Considering the transfer of wealth is such a talked-about topic within the advisory community, the statistics are startling. About 50% of Canadians do not have a will and 10 million do not have an estate plan. Of those that do have a plan, 60% have not shared that information with anyone.

To that end, Jessie Vaid and Sachin Bhalla have pooled their expertise and experience to provide a solution. ReadyWhen is a digital estate planning platform that provides a simple, secure and fast way to proactively build and store a complete estate plan from your laptop or mobile device.

With a B2B2C focus, the platform is designed for financial, legal and insurance professionals to use on behalf of their clients or to provide to them as a value add. The duo believe the product is an ideal tool for advisors and wealth management firms for a number of reasons. It allow access to client documents in a central, secure digital vault, leverages frictionless proprietary tools to capture data quickly and efficiently, and advisors to receive notifications when they become part of the client’s ‘team’, enabling them to track progress in real time. The platform also encourages retention and interaction with the next generation of clients.

For Vaid (main picture) and Bhalla (pictured above), the importance of a person’s legacy is paramount – and they’ve seen it first-hand. Vaid was a Notary Public in B.C. for more than 15 years, helping thousands of families with their estate planning and seeing all the problems that exist in the process. He formed the idea for ReadyWhen and approached Bhalla, who had followed a marketing and tech career, also for more than 15 years.

Crucially, and sadly, Bhalla also knew what the aftermath of death was like. Having lost both parents, he understood the process, and how painful and problematic it can be to get an estate in order. He was able to provide valuable user experience feedback.

Now, having brought the platform to market last month, they are excited by its appeal to professionals in the finance, life insurance and legal space.

Vaid told WP that in 2019 he had an influx of clients coming to him asking about a will and a power of attorney. Others had just lost a loved and didn't know what to do. He started to think there must be a better way to disseminate the information.

He said: "When people come in to see us, we create their power of attorney, create their will, their healthcare and say, ‘here’s your legal documents, now go keep everything safe in a safety deposit box or a folder’. We never give them a digital vault to be able to keep all that information, with the ability to disseminate it among the people that need it."

Having been an executor on an estate before, he knew the process. Vaid started looking online and on App stores, and couldn’t find a solution. He did more due diligence and realised, with his knowledge, he was in a position to do something about it.

He added: “People don't think about the digital footprint. They don't think about the health information, prescriptions, doctors, and their asset information. How many people know where their life insurance policy is? How many people know who their life insurance policy is with?”

How an advisor uses it will depend on their business, while ReadyWhen is also seeking corporate partnerships with large firms, who can build it into their fees or bulk licenses. For the end user, it's a subscription-based model, with annual or monthly dues - $5 a month or $50 annually, and for a limited time $500 for life. While some firms have built proprietary products, they don’t have the ability to share the information with a third party, Bhalla added.

“We're really working through the frictionless side of things, so that less is more. When we hand off to a financial advisor, for instance, they can literally take the product and within a few clicks their client has been signed up with ReadyWhen, with the information already inputted into the account.”

What the platform includes?

The major sections are Assets, Legal, Digital, Health and Teams. Within these, there are numerous sub-sections. Take assets, for example, which is then broken down into: Property, Vehicle, Life Insurance, Financial Accounts, Pensions, Corporate Holdings, Taxes, and Other Assets (like jewelry). A crypto category is in the works.

All previous legal documents are archived, so nothing is deleted unless a client contacts them. This safeguards against a disgruntled spouse or child. A person’s digital footprint, which is often forgotten, can also be included. This can mean anything from LinkedIn, Facebook and email passwords to Netflix and cell phone contracts that need to be cut off.

The all-important functionality is “Teams”. Clients can add a membe, including professionals and also control what information they have access to and when.

Vaid said: “Some people are very private. I've got clients who only want their kids to know about everything after they pass away. We can still add them as a team member but they would not get access until after they died.”

He added: “I'm very proud of what we built there and I think we’ve done a good job of adding value for the client and for the advisor.”

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