Henna Shah, JD, LLM CEO
As the number of wealthy individuals continues to multiply at a precipitous rate globally, the need for exceptional wealth managers, attorneys, and accountants is intensifying like never before. Private client lawyers must be technically competent and be able to build solid, trusting professional relationships. The wealthy are motivated to engage attorneys who are highly knowledgeable and efficient, and who promote interpersonal trust with their high-net-worth clients. Aside from having a strong foundation in the legal strategies that can help wealthy clients with the complexities of estate planning and business law, attorneys need to foster a relationship wherein the wealthy are comfortable discussing their private family and financial situations. Not to mention, in response to the changing legal landscape, affluent clients and business owners are increasingly creating trusts intended to withstand the test of time and last well beyond the life expectancies of their children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. Attorneys need to understand their clients’ intent, build flexibility, and draft high-quality legal documents with precision and efficiency to lay the foundation for an enduring estate plan.
With so much on the line in regards to wealth management, it is imperative that estate planning and business law attorneys draft impeccable documents that marry the latest drafting techniques with a consumerfriendly end product that everyone can be pleased with.
Founded by attorneys for attorneys, WealthCounsel has been helping estate planning and business law attorneys practice excellence for over twenty years. The company may be best known for its superior automated document drafting software for estate planning and business law with Wealth Docx®, Gun Docx®, and Business Docx®. This year, they launched a streamlined solution for trust administration, Wealth Tracx™, with outstanding success. In addition, WealthCounsel provides continuing legal education, a strong community of thousands of attorneys, and thoughtful analysis on legal topics and breaking industry news.
“WealthCounsel is the industry leader in providing a holistic platform for estate planning attorneys and business planning attorneys, which enables them to build successful and efficient practices,” notes WealthCounsel CEO Henna Shah, JD, LLM. Before joining the WealthCounsel Editorial Team, Henna was a tax and estate planning attorney working with large law firms in New York and California. She later joined WealthCounsel as a client and started her estate planning law firm with offices in New York and New Jersey, focusing on planning for high net-worth families and individuals. As CEO, Henna provides the vision and strategy behind WealthCounsel’s constant focus on member success. She brings together several perspectives as a well-established estate planning attorney and former WealthCounsel member.
The Four Pillars of Support
In line with their motto of “practice excellence,” WealthCounsel equips their nationwide network of member attorneys with what Henna calls the “four pillars of support.”
Now more than ever, WealthCounsel’s offering of cloud-based drafting automation, allowing subscribers to draft anytime, anywhere, has proven invaluable to their network of member attorneys. With so many wealth management professionals adapting to working from home for at least a part of 2020, WealthCounsel members seamlessly transitioned into their new environments and continued serving their clients with the high-quality estate planning and business law documents the company is known for. “Our solutions are considered the gold standard in estate planning and business law document drafting. They accommodate both basic and complex planning strategies and create efficiencies, which can also help reduce errors in drafting as attorneys create plans in conjunction with their wealth management partners for clients,” remarks Henna.
In order to support estate planning and business law attorneys beyond automated document drafting, WealthCounsel understands the importance of a robust, learning-based approach to keeping members up to date on current developments in the industry. “We have a really fantastic learning solution where we provide on-demand and live webinars (and in-person events before the pandemic),” says Henna. “Our members are aware of the best planning strategies that they can implement for their clients. And also, practically speaking, how they can then put those drafting solutions to work to make those strategies play out.”
WealthCounsel is the industry leader in providing a holistic platform for estate planning attorneys and business planning attorneys, which enables them to build successful and efficient practices
WealthCounsel welcomes attorneys at every experience level. The company recognizes there are many attorneys transitioning into the areas of estate planning or business law or who are looking to take their practice to another level. For this pillar, Henna says, “We do have coaching programs that we implement in-house to really help new members understand how they can serve their client base and add the best possible value.” Henna points out that this tailored, individualized approach is one of the best examples of WealthCounsel’s commitment to their members’ success.
“And then, probably one thing setting us apart from other providers in this industry, there is our membership,” Henna proudly mentions. “We have a very vibrant and engaged community of all of our members. They provide each other with support when they have questions. It’s almost like having your own department of attorneys that you can turn to, to ask a question when you don’t know the answer, or if you’ve never encountered a particular situation before. It is incredibly unique because it provides a collaborative approach often missing for practitioners.” Rightfully so, it is this last pillar that so closely ties back to WealthCounsel’s creation and earliest days: attorneys working to help fellow attorneys perform at their peak.
A Closer Look at Estate Planning
All of WealthCounsel’s offerings are laser-focused on the empowerment of their member attorneys to find success in estate planning, business law, and/or trust administration. As Henna mentions, while wealth managers often overlook estate planning, it adds tremendous value to clients. Estate planning demonstrates wealth managers’ willingness to embrace a holistic “cradle to grave” perspective instead of caring for clients at a singular point. Managing wealth and its distribution across generations through traditional will planning falls woefully short of providing the benefits that professional estate planning delivers.
So, how is estate planning filling the gap?
With thoughtful and strategic estate planning, both wealth managers and estate planning attorneys can come together to create a plan that best meets the client’s interests. Estate planning also opens up the opportunity for wealth managers to retain a client’s assets under management even after the client passes away. Upon a client’s passing, wealth managers who were involved with the client’s estate planning and who know the client’s beneficiaries and agents can provide them with a clear picture of their work product and services. Most often, the beneficiaries and agents will prefer to work with the same wealth manager, allowing the assets to remain with the wealth manager even after the client has passed.
Wealth managers can also partake in trust-based planning by proactively becoming a part of the estate planning process. Whether a trust is created for creditor protection, for family members suffering from substance abuse or addiction, or for any other reason, trust-based planning allows wealth managers who have a relationship with the trustees and successor trustees of a trust to retain assets under management while they remain in that trust.
Spotlight on Efficiency
WealthCounsel’s industry-leading documents and solutions are proof of their tireless emphasis on efficiency and accuracy.
Wealth Docx, the company’s flagship product, functions as a complete estate planning solution for attorneys at every level. From basic estate planning to more complex tax and business planning strategies, Wealth Docx provides automated drafting solutions to help members increase efficiency and create high-quality, accurate documents with ease.
Business Docx is WealthCounsel’s legal document management software that helps draft high-quality legal documents tailored to small and mid-sized business clients. It includes contextual help, expert commentary, and other critical legal resources for informed decision-making coupled with greater efficiency and accuracy.
“We have a very vibrant and engaged community of all of our members. They provide each other with support when they have questions. It’s almost like having your own department of attorneys that you can turn to, to ask a question when you don’t know the answer, or if you’ve never encountered a particular situation before. It is incredibly unique because it provides a collaborative approach often missing for practitioners”
The specialized Gun Docx solution is an additional option to address the growing need for firearms-specific legacy planning, including conventional and NFA firearms planning.
The most recent addition to WealthCounsel’s suite of solutions, Wealth Tracx is a comprehensive solution designed to provide all of the documents, tools, and supporting resources needed to effectively and successfully offer trust administration services. The solution is designed for both attorneys and their staff and includes the following features:
• Asset tracking
• Allocation and distribution
• Automated checklists, forms, and letters
• Customizable task management
All of WealthCounsel’s solutions are geared toward facilitating efficiency, and as such, come with a single point of data entry. Once client information is entered, it populates the drafting solution in use and throughout the integrated solutions, which saves significant time. Thanks to the cloud-based WealthCounsel platform, members can access the solutions from anywhere they want to, collaborate with others virtually, and continue their work without missing a beat. With WealthCounsel’s new trust administration solution and market-leading estate planning and business law document drafting software, members can hone their practice, increase their efficiency, and create high-quality, accurate documents with ease.
Staying the Course During COVID
Headquartered in Utah, WealthCounsel has been serving clients for over twenty years as a virtual company. “We have employees all over the country and operate through technology to stay efficient. We use tools like Slack and Zoom to facilitate collaboration, create a sense of community, and thrive as a virtual company,” Henna adds. When the pandemic hit, WealthCounsel was a step ahead by diligently helping brick-and-mortar clients from afar, advising them on building a virtual practice, and enabling them to stay compliant with the changing state laws. When most attorneys were facing the pandemic’s brunt with severe implications on their practice, WealthCounsel ensured that its attorney members could carry on their businesses seamlessly while also helping other attorneys build their disrupted practice.
The vision of WealthCounsel for the future is steadfast. WealthCounsel will continue developing its trust administration solution, which is an integral part of its expansion strategy. The company has other solutions in the pipeline, to be rolled out in the next few years. “We are invested in our members and we always take their input to improve our solutions further. Since we are a part of a collaborative community, we ensure that their requests are taken into consideration in our roadmap of growth. We are also looking to partner with other companies to provide our members with everything they need to serve their clients in the best possible way,” Henna ends.