News release

Vanguard Introduces Enhanced Digital Estate Planning Tools to Investors Through Partnership with Vanilla

VALLEY FORGE, PA (January 18, 2024)—Vanguard is introducing new and enhanced intergenerational wealth and legacy planning capabilities through a partnership with Vanilla, an innovative provider of digital estate planning tools and solutions. The offer was successfully piloted to a small cohort of eligible advised clients in Vanguard Personal Advisor Wealth Management over the past year and will scale to provide ultra-high-net-worth Vanguard investors with a powerful visualized approach to help manage and achieve their current and future estate planning objectives.

Launched in 2015, the Personal Advisor suite of advice offers1 is Vanguard’s industry-leading2 hybrid advice service that combines a sophisticated online experience and underlying technology with the unique behavioral coaching and financial planning capabilities of a human advisor. Clients work with advisors to identify investment goals and develop personalized financial plans tailored to help meet those objectives. Estate planning is a critical element of financial planning, but its complexity can often be daunting for investors. A thoughtful, well-designed estate planning approach can empower individuals to manage their legacy planning in accordance with complex federal and state tax rules.

“Recognizing that some clients have intricate estate planning needs that will span multiple generations, implementing Vanilla’s capabilities supports our commitment to help clients achieve stronger financial and legacy outcomes,” said Massy Williams, Principal and Head of Wealth Management at Vanguard. “Within Personal Advisor Wealth Management, clients are provided a dynamic visualization of their estate plan, identifying opportunities to refine and maximize their ability to achieve their legacy goals.”

Eligible Personal Advisor Wealth Management clients will work directly with their advisor to leverage Vanilla to build integrated visualizations of their net worth, powerful asset transfer diagrams, estimated tax calculations, ongoing estate monitoring and the ability to model the impact of further estate planning scenarios.

“With such a sizeable amount of wealth set to be transferred to younger generations over the next two decades, there has never been a more important time for advisors to deliver differentiated estate planning advice, and we are excited to partner with Vanguard in support of this critical opportunity,” said Gene Farrell, CEO at Vanilla. “Our platform is purpose built by advisors and estate professionals, combining world class design and cutting-edge technology to help firms deliver a holistic, modern estate planning experience to their clients. We are committed to continuously innovating and building the most complete estate planning platform for wealth management leaders.”

Vanguard has a steadfast commitment to client-centric digital innovation and providing a world-class client experience that helps investors achieve investment and financial success. Among recent enhancements, Vanguard introduced a streamlined approach to digitally managing advisor appointments for Personal Advisor Select and Personal Advisor Wealth Management clients, along with the ability to model alternative spending scenarios to a financial plan to review with an advisor. Most recently, Personal Advisor Select and Personal Advisor Wealth Management unveiled a tax efficient retirement income strategy, which coordinates Social Security timing, withdrawal order and IRA conversions to create integrated recommendations tailored to the client’s unique situation. In addition to enhancements to its advice services, Vanguard also works with self-directed ultra-high-net-worth clients, supporting them with their wealth management needs and providing a new suite of cash management products. 

Vanguard began working with Vanilla in 2022 and plans to roll out access to the new estate planning tools to eligible Personal Advisor Wealth Management clients over the coming year, in addition to evaluating opportunities to expand access to the offer to a broader set of clients.


About Vanguard 

Founded in 1975, Vanguard is one of the world's leading investment management companies. The firm offers investments, advice, and retirement services to tens of millions of individual investors around the globe - directly, through workplace plans, and through financial intermediaries. Vanguard operates under a unique, investor-owned structure where Vanguard fund shareholders own the funds, which in turn own Vanguard. As such, Vanguard adheres to a simple purpose: To take a stand for all investors, to treat them fairly, and to give them the best chance for investment success. For more information, visit

About Vanilla
Vanilla is a wealth and estate planning platform that enables financial advisors to build deeper relationships with their clients and empowers clients to develop and protect their legacy. From robust and easy-to-understand visualizations of complex estates, detailed diagrams of how assets transfer to future generations, to ongoing estate monitoring, Vanilla is reinventing the estate planning experience, end-to-end. Learn more about Vanilla at

1 The Personal Advisor suite of advice offers includes Vanguard Personal Advisor, Vanguard Personal Advisor Select, and Vanguard Personal Advisor Wealth Management

2 Morningstar’s 2023 Robo Advisor Landscape Report. Vanguard Personal Advisor advises $296 billion as of December 31, 2023. Per Morningstar’s 2023 Robo Advisor Landscape, which assesses Vanguard Personal Advisor Services and Digital Advisor. Vanguard received the first overall ranking in Morningstar's "Robo-Advisor Landscape Report" for 2023 among 17 other robo-advisors selected by Morningstar. Morningstar evaluated each provider across the following weighted criteria as of December 2022, to determine their rankings: total price (30%); the process used to select investments, construct portfolios, and match portfolios with investors (30%); the parent organization behind the digital platform (20%); and breadth of services (20%). Vanguard also received the same ranking in 2022 in Morningstar’s first annual "Robo-Advisor Landscape Report" based on December 2021, data. Additional details about Morningstar's methodology are available on its website. Current fees may vary for Vanguard's advisory services and the other robo-advisors considered. Although Vanguard compensates Morningstar for marketing services, Morningstar's opinions and evaluations are independent and unrelated to the selection of Vanguard for this ranking. Following the independent announcement of this ranking, Vanguard purchased a license from Morningstar for the right to include this rating in Vanguard marketing. Source: “2023 Robo-Advisor Landscape” by Amy C. Arnott, et al.  ©2023 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

Vanguard’s advice services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc. (“VAI”), a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company (“VNTC”), a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company.

The services provided to clients will vary based upon the service selected, including management, fees, eligibility, and access to an advisor. Find VAI’s Form CRS and each program’s advisory brochure here for an overview.

VAI and VNTC are subsidiaries of The Vanguard Group, Inc., and affiliates of Vanguard Marketing Corporation. Neither VAI, VNTC, nor its affiliates guarantee profits or protection from losses.

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