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How Valur Works With Advisors: A Client’s Journey

As an advisor, you’ve been working for years to tirelessly serve many of your clients’ needs when it comes to financial health. Everything from investment advisory, to tax optimization, and maybe even some estate planning. Well we can’t do everything here at Valur, but the area we do excel in is tax/estate planning with the use of widely known trust structures.

Our platform is the next step in the necessary evolution of an industry that is notoriously slow to adapt or improve. We take the tried-and-true strategies used by the ultra high net worth community and make it more accessible for even your smallest client. So if you’re considering the use of a Charitable Remainder Trust, Charitable Lead Trust, or Grantor Retained Annuity Trust for your client, we’re the right partner to choose.

The common questions that Advisors have for us are:

  • What will my client’s experience be like?
  • How involved can I be or do I need to be?
  • Why should I choose Valur to create and administer my client’s tax-planning trust?

At a high level, the answer is simple: At Valur, our client experience is designed to make setting up tax- and estate-planning trust structures seamless, fast, and straightforward (especially in comparison to working with traditional lawyers and trust companies). As an advisor, you have a variety of options when it comes to working with us; you can be as involved as you’d like.

Maybe you want to be integrated into each stage of the process, so you can advise your client and keep tabs on their plans. If so, we’ll work with you and your client together at every turn.

Or maybe you may prefer to have a partner like Valur take care of everything so you can have your time back. In that case, we’ll walk your client through our streamlined process, taking all of the guess work and hurdles out of the normal trust strategy and implementation process. And we’ll stay in close contact with you so you know how the process is going.

What will my client’s experience with Valur be like?

Our trust process is similar in many ways to that of legacy trust/estate lawyers and trust companies. We hit all of the necessary marks, including education, strategy, and drafting (typically the lawyer’s job) and administration (which typically sits with a trust company).

But our process looks very different in practice, both because we use technology to simplify and streamline each step, and because we go further, working with you — the financial advisor — to optimize the trust’s accounting and investments for your client.

Here are the five simple steps in our process:

Exploration and Qualification

  • What is it? At this step, we aim to understand your client’s situation and present the tax planning options that may be a fit
  • How involved will you be? Advisor involvement at this stage is entirely optional. Some of our advisor partners want to stay involved throughout; others want to be there to hand off the client; and still others would prefer simply to refer clients to us (and then have us send the client back for financial advising once the trust is prepared).

Ideation and Strategy

  • What is it? We’ll take your client’s inputs — where they live, what assets they are planning for, their family situation, and liquidity needs, among others — and explain the potential solutions. The goal here is not only to identify the options, but to paint a picture of how they’d work in practice: How much your client will save and earn over time, what sort of distributions they’ll be entitled to, and how each strategy will interact with estate planning (if applicable) and the rest of their financial life.
  • How involved will you be? This stage involves calculating the ROI and liquidity of various strategies, and we offer corresponding reports (which can be white labeled for your firm if you want) that present the top-line and detailed numbers, as well as the pros and cons of each strategy. As before, you are welcome to play gatekeeper here, receiving this information yourself, or you can tag team with your client or even hand them off entirely to us.

Implementation and Execution

  • What is it? Like traditional trust lawyers and trust companies, we’ll implement your client’s chosen strategy; we’ll do the necessary payout calculations, draft the trust, and formalize it (including notarization and federal registration). Then we’ll go a step further, facilitating custodian onboarding and asset transfer.
  • How involved will you be? Typically, the advisor chooses not to play a major role here. We’ll take care of all of the steps mentioned, though we do work with advisors to choose the appropriate custodians based on their practice.

Investment Optimization

What is it and what is your role? You will own your client’s investment strategy, of course — that’s outside of Valur’s purview — but we do aim to add value here, beyond what traditional service providers can do, by helping you understand trust accounting principals and their implications for your chosen investment strategy. With concepts like trust-specific tax-loss harvesting and distribution targeting, we can help you increase your client’s returns by 30% or more over time.

Administration and Filings

What is it and what is your role? We play the role of (a better, more efficient, less expensive) trust company here, taking care of ongoing customer needs, including trust administration, accounting, and filings. We also provide any personal tax return documents required directly to your client, or to you if that’s what you prefer.

As you can see, it’s entirely up to you how closely you work with Valur to serve your clients. But there’s one constant: Our goals are aligned with yours, in that we’re always aiming to make your client happy so they’ll stick around for the long haul.

Next Steps

In a world where clients expect more integrated service and seamless experiences, Valur stands out from the crowd. We’ve built an integrated platform to (1) answer the important questions for clients (including the ones we highlight below); (2) draft and set up key legal structures; (3) administer these accounts; and(4) to offer the highest quality trust services in a manner that is accessible to everyone.

We’ll help you and your clients answer the following key questions:

  • Why should I choose a tax-planning trust instead of paying taxes today?
  • What’s the ROI of these structures and do the numbers make sense for me?
  • What are the benefits and tradeoffs associated with each strategy?

These questions are simple on the surface, but the responses require expertise and, just as important, some sophisticated modeling. That’s another place where Valur stands out. Most resources out there — the simple online calculators and the high-priced lawyers — provide minimal information and have a a single playbook, all while not being responsive to your client’s needs. We do things differently: We make all of our planning tools free and accessible to all, and we help with strategizing at no cost. In other words, we only get paid if we convince you and your clients that we’re going to add value over the long run.

These services are important to clients — they’re the ultimate stakeholders — but we also provide immense value for advisors. Our tax- and estate-planning trusts can help clients reduce or eliminate their immediate tax bills on capital gains and ordinary income. Those savings can be huge and subsequently reinvested into other assets. As a result, you’ll get a ton of credit for identifying these opportunities for your clients and having the established relationship in place to refer them.

Plus, our trusts can help your clients earn additional returns of 45% or more over time, which means 45% more assets for you to manage and invest on their behalf. One of the true scenarios where it’s a win-win-win for everyone involved.

The bottom line is that we can help your clients save a lot of money today and in the future, and we want you to get the credit. We’ll help your clients implement key tax-planning structures, and we’ll do as much of the work as you want; you can be as involved in this process as you’d like. But no matter how you choose to design our trust, we’ll work closely with you to make sure that you’re in the loop. We’ll make you proud to call us your partner.

About Valur

We built a platform to give everyone access to the tax and wealth building tools of the ultra-rich like Mark Zuckerberg and Phil Knight. We make it simple and seamless for our customers to take advantage of these hard to access tax advantaged structures so you can build your wealth more efficiently at less than half the cost of competitors. From picking the best strategy to taking care of all the setup and ongoing overhead, we make it easy and have helped create more than $500m in wealth for our customers.