ClearEstate is After Aftercare
How should one succinctly describe a service as complex as estate planning and the even more complicated service of estate settlement? For Robin Monniere, Senior Director of Marketing at ClearEstate, the answer to that question materialized at the ICCFA Annual Convention and Expo 2022 in Las Vegas.
“As we were talking with funeral directors, we were challenged in trying to explain what ClearEstate does,” recalls Monniere. “Then it hit us: ClearEstate is after aftercare.”
So much more than planning
Monniere admits that there are a lot of companies that offer estate planning services. Like a preneed plan, estate planning is a smart move, and ClearEstate’s professionals are here to help clients get their financial houses in order so end-of-life decisions are handled when the time comes.
Estate settlement, though, is a different thing altogether. Like families navigating the waters of final arrangements without a preneed plan or guidance from a deathcare professional, many families find themselves struggling with financial loose ends after the loss of a loved one. Most don’t know where to turn to help. That makes sense, because there aren’t a lot of companies out there that offer comprehensive estate settlement services like ClearEstate.
“We go much further than just estate planning,” explains Monniere. “We offer the whole A to Z settlement process. We’re not an app, we’re not a website. We’re tech-enabled human services, and we’re going to be there to hold the hand of the grieving family.”
In other words, ClearEstate will be there for your families during and long after the aftercare. (See what we did there?)
Easily accessible, clear value
If you’ve worked with families who are managing final disposition for the first time, you know how bewildered and overwhelmed they can feel. It’s the same feeling families have when confronted with the financial processes and decisions that follow a death.
“If it’s your first time going through the estate settlement process, you feel kind of powerless,” Monniere says. “You don’t know on what door to knock. You have to talk with lawyers, and probably bring in an accountant. You might have to go to court. There are all these different kinds of moving pieces. And these professionals usually take a percentage of the estate as a fee.”
ClearEstate centralizes all of the potential estate settlement services, and their team members work one-on-one with clients to do whatever is necessary for one flat and extremely reasonable fee. The company offers different levels of settlement packages based on a client’s needs — and they’ll talk with families to find out which package will work best for them.
“Families or executors will pay one flat fee, and we’re going to help you with everything,” adds Monniere. “Let’s say you have to go through the probate process. We’re going to prepare the proper forms and make sure everything is executed and delivered on time so you can settle the estate with the fewest headaches possible.”
Customized to your area
One of the more challenging aspects of estate settlement is the fact that laws differ from state to state and even vary by jurisdiction. ClearEstate believes in a “boots on the ground” approach; their goal is to have a professional who is familiar with area laws positioned to help clients in every state. Although their home base is in Montreal, Canada, and covers half of that country, ClearEstate has stationed settlement professionals in sixU.S. states, with plans in the works to add many more.
“We’re in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Arizona, Nevada and across Canada, Monniere says., e’re also in the process of adding New Jersey and even more states in the coming months. We’re already covering almost 0% of the U.S. population, and growing fast.”
Growing fast is an understatement. The services ClearEstate offers are in such high demand and have proven so popular that the number of employees has quadrupled in just the last few months. With more than 80 team members working from all over the world, ClearEstate is fulfilling its core values of inclusion and diversity.
“Inclusion and diversity is one of our core values,” Monniere adds. “Empathy and genuine care, radical accountability, transparency, and a growth mindset are the others. As a startup, we’re focused on making this business a success, and we truly believe that disruption is ready to happen in this market. We’re committed to that.”
Born of necessity in an industry prime for a shakeup
Monniere explains that these core values — and the ClearEstate company itself — were created because of one of the co-founder’s frustration with his own estate settlement experience. Chief Operating Officer Alex Gauthier, one of the three entrepreneurs who founded ClearEstate in November 2020, got the idea while settling his mother’s estate in Ontario— an 18-month process that “involved a litany of paperwork, calls with lawyers, and confusing legal work.”
“My favorite website is the Ontario government website where you can find all 73 forms that may or may not be required for probate,” Gauthier sarcastically told Canada’s Financial Post in March. “You poke through them and you don’t understand anything. Those forms were written by attorneys for attorneys.”
Like most families facing this challenge, Gauthier was not an attorney. But as a marketing professional with experience in e-commerce, he knew there had to be a more user-friendly process for the everyday person.
ClearEstate, Gauthier says, is “there through the entire process, introducing them with the right professionals at the right moment and automating most of it through our platform.”
Partnering with ClearEstate
Why was the phrase “after aftercare” the easiest way to explain ClearEstate to the deathcare professionals at ICCFA? Because like Gauthier, you guys are also not lawyers. However, also like Gauthier, you want to refer the families you serve to the best providers possible, and trust that those partners will treat these folks the way you’ve treated them.
“We can do two things for our partners in deathcare,” explains Monniere. “We can help you enhance your customer service, because when you refer your families to ClearEstate to simplify estate settlement, you’re going to have a much happier customer. They’re going to feel that they’re going to be taken care of. That reinforces and enhances your business.”
The second benefit to partnering with ClearEstate is revenue through your financial referral agreement, which Monniere and his team are eager to explain to you.
“Contact us today and we’ll book a demo to explain in more detail how we’re working with our partners,” he advises.
To schedule your demo, visit https://www.clearestate.com/become-a-partner today!