CAN CLIENT SUBSCRIBE TO THE EPFL SYSTEM WITHOUT AN ADVISER?
In short – no! The EPFL system is a subscription service provided for financial and tax advisers/accountants. Consumers will need to approach their subscribing adviser who can then provide the EPFL services to them directly.
How Do I Charge?
Some advisers will offer Estate Planning for Life in the higher tier service packages and will use the system to upgrade clients to a higher tier. Given the requirement for ongoing review and the iterative nature of the process, this approach can help clients upgrade and stay there. Other advisers will charge a one-off fee for taking clients through the process, and offer a separate fee for any revisions. Fees will vary with complexity, however anecdotally annual fees commonly range between $550 and $5,500 for this work.
How Do I Start Using the Software with my Clients?
Whilst the system has the relevance to all clients, many advisers choose to offer the system to higher fee paying clients without fee in the first instance, then offer the system to other clients at a fee.
How Do I Explain the System to Clients?
Advisers tell us there are many different ways to explain the system to clients and will focus on different elements of the system depending on the client. Most advisers will have sample copies of the outputs or reports and show prospective clients what they will receive.
We find that the most successful advisers are those who have their own stories to tell.
Who inputs the information into the system – the adviser or the client?
The answer depends on the adviser (personal preference) and the client (comfort with using online systems). Although designed to allow clients to input the data themselves online, some advisers prefer to work through the system live during client meetings. Other advisers tell us that they work from blank documents and have support staff input data when the information is complete.
Are there Referral Opportunities?
Yes. The system is designed to transfer the important personal information of a client on to paper/online system for someone (family member or close friend) to use if necessary. Advisers tell us that their clients want a meeting with their executors/attorneys/guardians and even the beneficiaries of their Wills to explain that the information they need is written down for them. Referral opportunities are therefore available “up”, “down” and “sideways” on the family tree.
Opportunities to work with new Centres of Influence (COI)
One of the outputs from the system is called an Estate Planning Record (EPR) – it could also be called a “Solicitors Briefing Note”. This is designed to provide Solicitors with a comprehensive list of the issues that have been identified by going through the EPFL process. Advisers tell us that they take a sample EPR or Briefing Note with them when meeting a prospective Centre of Influence to show how they are different to the traditional commission based financial adviser.
Is this doing the job of the Solicitor?
No, but it does make their job easier! There is no legal advice provided through or by the system, however some very important issues are brought to the attention of the Solicitor through the briefing note.As one solicitor said to one of our advisers: “If I could get this, I would barely need to meet the client!”.