John Yackel is CEO of Trucendent, which provides a comprehensive solution for enabling advisors and planners to offer quality estate planning solutions to households. Trucendent offers an extensive independent network of estate planning attorneys, high-quality, advisor-friendly corporate trustees, and select asset management firms. This solution allows for effective and efficient management of trust accounts and estate plans for financial advisors.

Russ Alan Prince: Why should advisors incorporate trust, wealth Preservation, and estate planning for all clients?

John Yackel: For advisors, connecting trust, wealth preservation, and estate planning for clients are very important. We find a lack of execution between those teams—financial advisors, estate planning attorneys, corporate trustees, asset managers, and accountants—within financial planning is too common and detrimental to the client.

A corporate trustee working with a financial advisor provides a well-balanced service for achieving a client’s goals and objectives. With an advisor-friendly corporate trustee, advisors can provide the specialized asset management services that clients and beneficiaries need and expect. The corporate trustee also provides professional administrative support and guidance that alleviates the burden on family members.

Typically, under our present-day legacy planning industry structure, advisors tend to refer clients to a third-party estate planning attorney for those types of services and don’t stay well-connected with the attorney after the referral. As a result, advisors are unsure of what’s happening with the preparation and execution of critical documents and don’t truly understand the impact on their clients’ families and estates when decisions are made. It is critical that the advisor leverage new technologies that offer a collaborative planning event across multiple external fiduciaries.

Prince: How do advisors prepare for the Great Wealth Transfer and make their practices more multigenerational?

Yackel: Financial advisors are dedicated to bringing financial wellness to clients. They are instrumental in helping achieve dreams by establishing investment goals and devising strategies. Beyond dreams, there’s the inevitable of dealing with how assets will pass on after death. Over the course of the next 25 years, it’s estimated that roughly 4 million US households will transfer a total of $70 trillion to heirs and charities. Nearly $30 trillion will go to Generation X, while nearly $28 trillion will go to Millennials. It is estimated that by 2045, close to 75% of all the wealth could be managed by women. The face of wealth management is changing, and as an advisor, you must start the conversations now to reach down into the families you work with and provide multi-generation planning. 

Introducing estate planning as part of a holistic financial plan and building trust with clients and beneficiaries is key. Advisors need to explain to clients why this is necessary and how estate planning can smooth the wealth transfer process, decrease costs, and help keep family harmony. Incorporating visualization planning tools that show the extensive family tree for those we feel responsible for is a critical step in estate planning. 

Through Trucendent’s business solution, advisors can confidently get ahead of the wealth transfer by building deeper relationships with clients and proactively educating beneficiaries about the wealth they will inherit.  

Prince: Why are a majority of advisors still not incorporating this into their practice?

Yackel: Advisors are faced with many demands from their clients. The financial planning process helps clients manage money, but some advisors need to be more effective at managing inter-generational wealth. Those with wealth transfer experience understand the process but struggle to implement it consistently and efficiently. Some advisors stitch together informal networks of experts, but it is a painful process to manage and impossible to scale. 

Trucendent helps remove friction for the advisor, allowing for seamless integration of planning and implementation while connecting them with high-quality estate planning attorneys and corporate trustees who can fill in the gaps in wealth transfer expertise. Coordinating these efforts with professional asset management firms provides for a unified approach to managing the intricacies of trust accounts. 

Prince: How can advisors help their clients avoid the pitfalls of DIY estate planning?

Yackel: Advisors need to make sure clients understand the potential ramifications of DIY estate planning—the long-term risks they may be assuming in exchange for short-term cost savings—and present them with as much information to help them make the right decision for their circumstances, budget, and legacy.

Some clients may think that because their estate plan is simple—modest assets to be left to a spouse and children, for example—they don’t need professional guidance. That is far from the realities we face.

Having multiple beneficiaries is itself a complication if the estate plan isn’t carefully vetted by an expert. What happens, for example, if a client’s estate is supposed to be split evenly between three children, but one child was added to the client’s accounts as a joint owner before death? All liquid assets go to that child because joint accounts don’t pass by the terms of the will.

Now consider divorce, wealth associated with a business, mandating care for special needs children, or beneficiaries living internationally. State and federal estate tax laws are constantly evolving. DIY legal services aren’t sophisticated enough to manage the intricacies of ever-evolving estate tax structures and exemption requirements.

Prince: In what ways is Trucendent meeting the needs of today’s advisors through its integrated and collaborative trust management and estate planning solution? 

Yackel: Trucendent’s connectivity offers a collaborative fiduciary network that brings the family’s set of professionals into the planning process. This allows for a more cohesive and aligned strategy for the individual and family as it provides the requisite transparency that a family and fiduciary truly require. 

With Trucendent’s collaborative fiduciary platform for modern estate planning, we help advisors pair clients and beneficiaries with thoroughly vetted corporate trustees that excel at trust administration, managing non-traditional assets, and demonstrating the advantages of professional trustee services. Coordinating this plan with a well-defined investment strategy supported by select asset management firms provides advisors and clients with peace of mind that their goals and objectives are met in the most efficient and transparent way.

RUSS ALAN PRINCE is the Executive Director of Private Wealth magazine ( and Chief Content Officer for High-Net-Worth Genius ( He consults with family offices, the wealthy, fast-tracking entrepreneurs, and select professionals.