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Estate planning, individually centered (EPIC)

Putting your client at the heart of the conversation

Estate planning is a deeply personal process that is unique to each client.

It’s your client’s last chapter, their last word, perhaps their legacy or the springboard for their family into a different lifestyle. It’s also a key component to your client’s overall financial strategy, and you can be your client’s guide through this process.

With these simple steps, you can begin the important work of helping your clients leave a legacy. The EPIC approach to estate planning will help you help them plan for what’s next.

Together, let’s make their story epic.

The EPIC approach

EPIC is your guide to estate planning topics. Estate planning is not a static last will and testament thrown in a drawer and forgotten. It is a plan that begins with carefully thought-out answers to questions that lay the groundwork to a tailored roadmap designed by the client and guided by you and their legal team.

Here for you

The Securian Financial Advanced Sales Team provides case design consultation, research, legislative review and so much more.

Keep clients’ story at the center by using EPIC

Follow these steps to create a thorough and well-rounded estate plan.

Gather information

What do your clients own? Who do they love?

What will happen to it all when they’re gone?

Determine goals

What are your client’s goals — and fears — about what should happen to their money after they die?

Align goals

This is where the estate plan begins to come together. Which strategies will align with your client’s estate plan?

Analyze, recommend and implement

You have identified the proper strategy for your client. Now it is time to help the client make an informed decision

Gather info

Accurate information regarding family, assets, ownership, titling, etc. will all help to build the foundation for the estate planning strategy.

What do they own, who do they love, what will happen to it all when they’re gone?

This is a critical part of the process and we have developed material that will help you ask the right questions, help the client understand certain concepts and start to build that foundation.

Initial estate planning considerations for couples 

Early planning and discussion can lead to confident and well-executed plans. Start the conversation with how your clients plan to handle an incapacity or illness and then shift to considerations such as their hopes, dreams and fears when the first spouse passes away. 

Discussion considerations include:

  • Who do they trust to help them in the interim period before death?
  • How much they want to protect the assets going to the surviving spouse?
  • What amounts should go to their descendants or community at the first death?

Estate planning considerations for couples when they’ve both passed away

Your next EPIC discussion centers on your clients’ estate when they both pass away.

Discussion considerations include:

  • What are their fears?
  • How much do they want to give to their descendants?
  • How do they want to pass down assets to their children?

In addition, your clients may want to give some amounts to their community. Their community can include public charities, community foundations, religious organizations, etc. This is an opportunity to transition tax dollars into charitable dollars.

As a financial professional, you are uniquely positioned to act as a guide, an interpreter, a resource for your client’s estate planning needs. You are also in a unique position to assist the other professionals on the tax and legal team by providing products that will drive the solutions proposed by the team.

Determine goals 

What are your client’s goals — and fears — about what should happen after they die?

Goals will come from two sources — the client’s vision and issues you uncover through your review. Once you and the client define those goals, the steps necessary to accomplish that plan will start to take shape. Many financial professionals (especially those new to estate planning) are intimidated by approaching clients. The EPIC process helps you become more confident by providing questions to ask to determine your client’s estate planning objectives.

During the initial client meeting, you have three goals:

  1. Educate the client
  2. Listen to the client’s estate planning objectives
  3. Gather basic information

EPIC fact finder

The EPIC fact finder will give you the pertinent questions to ask your client and help both of you determine your client’s best course of action.

Align goals

Which strategies will align with your client’s estate plan?

Whether the client currently has an estate plan or must start from the beginning, the key is to make certain you identify the documents, beneficiary designations, ownership and all the other details that make up a plan and tailor the estate planning solutions to the client’s goals. This will require knowledge about the techniques available to clients. This material will help you expand and deepen your understanding of estate planning concepts.

After your initial client meeting, you refine the information gathered into the solutions that help meet the client’s objectives. Which strategies will maximize your client’s estate plan?

Many financial professionals can rely on their own experience and education to find the appropriate solution. However, you may look for assistance from two resources:

  1. Discuss the information with your client’s team of professionals. This includes the client’s CPA, tax professional and estate planning attorney.
  2. Your dedicated sales support teams for Securian Financial’s various financial product lines.

Analyze, recommend and implement

You have identified the proper strategy for your estate planning client. Now it is time to help the client make an informed decision.

Here, we provide tools to help you analyze what the client’s data and goals tell you, make recommendations based on your review and finally identify the necessary steps to follow through with implementation.

Disability in estate planning

Estate planning is important for all families, but it is critically important for families with children with special needs. Learn how to address these needs.

View our strategies

Insights & tools for your clients

How to create an estate plan for your digital life  (article with video)

Have you considered what happens to your digital life after you’ve passed? Read on to learn how to create a digital estate plan in six easy steps.

Estate planning: A final gift to your family  (article with video)

Estate planning is one of the most important steps you can take to preserve your legacy and protect your loved ones. Learn estate planning basics here.

Love that lasts: Estate planning tips for your child with special needs  (article with video)

Take these practical estate planning tips into consideration to ensure a secure financial future for your child with special needs.

Please keep in mind that the primary reason to purchase a life insurance product is the death benefit.

Life insurance products contain charges, such as Cost of Insurance Charge, Cash Extra Charge, and Additional Agreements Charge (which we refer to as mortality charges), and Premium Charge, Monthly Policy Charge, Policy Issue Charge, Transaction Charge, Index Segment Charge, and Surrender Charge (which we refer to as expense charges). These charges may increase over time, and may contain restrictions, such as surrender periods. Policyholders could lose money in these products.

Policy loans and withdrawals may create an adverse tax result in the event of lapse or policy surrender and will reduce both the surrender value and death benefit. Withdrawals may be subject to taxation within the first fifteen years of the contract. Clients should consult their tax advisor when considering taking a policy loan or withdrawal.

This information may contain a general discussion of the relevant federal tax laws. It is not intended for, nor can it be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties. This information is provided to support the promotion or marketing of ideas that may benefit a taxpayer. Taxpayers should seek the advice of their own tax and legal advisors regarding any tax and legal issues applicable to their specific circumstances.

For financial professional use only. Not for use with the public. This material may not be reproduced in any form where it is accessible to the general public.

DOFU 12-2022