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Luminary launches modeling tool for illustrating hypothetical changes to estate plans


February 20, 2024

Luminary launches modeling tool for illustrating hypothetical changes to estate plans

Vik Prasad


Product Strategist

Last year, Luminary launched the Estate Waterfall which enabled advisors to quickly visualize and dimension outcomes of an existing estate plan. Now, advisors can overlay new strategy ideas and show the effect of hypothetical changes in minutes.

Starting with a current estate plan, users can create “what if” scenarios to show the impact of making new gifts of various kinds, changing the terms and distribution provisions of existing trusts, and instantly compare proposed changes to the current plan using different time and return assumptions.

Legacy plans often fail to keep up with life’s inevitable changes

Most trust & estate plans live in documents, tucked away in files. This presents two problems. First, it is impossible to track or project outcomes in real time, eventually leading to dissonance between transfer strategies and objectives. And, as times change, the process of modeling corrective actions is a cumbersome, start from scratch process. This can lead to failure to take valuable action, and missed opportunities.

Luminary Hypothetical Waterfall

Luminary's Hypothetical Waterfall flowchart

Build with confidence

With Luminary’s Estate Waterfall, users can quickly map an existing estate plan, including distributions to family, philanthropy, and potential tax liability based on various time and growth assumptions. Luminary’s hypothetical waterfalls, layered on top of this source data, can show:

  • Transfers to trusts: Luminary users can model proposed transfers to people, entities, and organizations, and immediately see the projected estate tax calculation and wealth distribution implications. Users can also model common scenarios including major liquidity events such as selling a business.
  • Changes to trust terms: Users can quantify how changes in distribution terms impact the distribution of wealth to beneficiaries, and the associated gift & estate tax implications.
  • Compare outcomes: Users can easily access a side-by-side comparison view that showcases the quantifiable economic benefits. Advisors can further customize with their branding and export a client-ready PDF to further personalize the report.
Luminary's presentation output comparing actual and hypothetical waterfalls

By combining clear visuals alongside quantifiable outcomes, wealth advisors can instill clarity and confidence in clients, putting them in a position to work with attorneys with a sense of purpose.

We often hear about how our software helps address challenges resulting from inefficient manual processes. But the most important problem we’re solving is the large number of stale trust & estate plans that no longer reflect the legacy wishes of their grantors and, as a result, miss valuable opportunities to connect their assets to the people and causes they care about most.

- David Barnard, Luminary Founder and CEO

Hypothetical estate waterfalls are available today to all Luminary users. To start modeling new ideas, users can simply take an existing client’s estate waterfall and build a new scenario using the current situation as the starting point. Users can also use Luminary’s bulk import functionality to set up a client’s balance sheet from portfolio reporting tools or an excel template.

To learn more about how Luminary is transforming wealth transfer, visit

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