How estate planning attorneys can compete with “do-it-yourself” document systems

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Estate Planning Software

They are everywhere, do-it-yourself Trusts and Wills.  It started with Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer.  Now, there are a multitude of systems that allow individuals to build their own legal documents at basically no cost on easy-to-use estate planning software platforms.

Now that they have popped up everywhere, it creates a new challenge for estate planning lawyers.  These estate planning software platforms are challenging individuals to create documents for less than complex estates by offering a cheaper and quicker option.

Even more and more, these systems are being promoted to a great lead source…financial advisors.  Advisors provide a great system of referrals for estate planning attorneys and by offering the systems to advisors, they are attempting to eliminate the value provided by estate planning attorneys.  While we all know this is the practice of law, advisors still use these types of systems.

Most attorneys brush this off as clients that wouldn’t have considered an attorney anyway.  While that may be the consensus, that is not necessarily the case. The real reason is perception of value offered by estate planning attorneys versus the price.  As the old adage goes, in the absence of value, price is everything.  That can be true when it comes to simple estates and working with an estate planning attorney.

So how do estate planning attorneys compete with simple estates without losing time and money?  Use estate planning technology to go head-to-head with do-it-yourself estate planning software platforms.  It all comes down to marketing and scaling the offering.

Let’s take a look at this example.  As advertised, Trust & Will “partners” with many organizations as they promote on their website.  Two such examples are credit unions.  Trust & Will promotes their service to their members at a reduced cost.  While this reduced cost may seem like a mountain to overcome as most of their members may only need simple Trusts or Wills, it is much easier than you think.

First, if you offer an automated system similar to what they are offering, and can produce a Will or Trust from end-to-end, a similar document in 30 minutes, wouldn’t that be more beneficial to the credit union than someone doing it themselves?  You could create an easy example of people doing their own car repair than using a professional.  The same can be pitched to the credit unions at the same price.

For you, the professional, who wouldn’t want to make a hundred and fifty dollars for 20-30 minutes of work?  You could even have an assistant do most of the work and scale even faster.  The simple solution, your estate planning technology stack.

Why can’t you offer a scaled solution to credit unions and other financial centers?  What about offering your services to businesses as part of their human resource package?  With the right estate planning software, you should have endless opportunities to offer your services to any business.

Your estate planning technology stack should work for you, not against you.  People who are technologically savvy are used to and expect to use technology.  More and more older Americans are getting used to using a computer and mobile device.  Your onboarding should be electronic, and it should sync with your database.  It should provide you quickly with the necessary information to move forward with an estate plan.

Once the onboarding is completed, that information should not be retyped into a document drafting solution.  That is counter intuitive to streamlining a practice.  It also creates a large opportunity for errors. 

You should be able to have a quick Zoom meeting to review the original information all via a client portal, and you should be able to review documents via an online session.  This all should be part of a complete technology package.

If you have a separate customer relationship manager that does not talk to your onboarding questionnaire, it is time to upgrade.  If you customer relationship manager or onboarding questionnaire does not integrate with your drafting solution, you should consider something else.  Systems that do not talk to each other will not help you in scaling your practice to compete with do-it-yourself estate planning software.

Expanding your technology stack to include comprehensive software is the future of estate planning software.  Over time, this will save you in your efforts and save you a tremendous amount of money.

There are many providers today that offer a comprehensive option.  One of those estate planning softwares is Yourefolio.  We encourage you to consider modifying your estate planning technology stack so that you can compete not only with do-it-yourself solutions, but so you can modernize and compete in the 21st century.

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