Estate planning has traditionally taken place within the confines of a brick and mortar office.
The attorney reviews the client’s documents face-to-face and this first meeting sets the stage for future in-depth conversations which are still mostly conducted in-person as the planning process gets underway.
For Boomers and other senior citizens, in persona is still the preferred way to do business even though it might be a considerable investment to make the trip to the attorney’s office these days.
For Gen X, Millennials and those who follow them however, things are starting to change.
A handful of innovative attorneys such as Noel Lawrence are creating a self-contained mobile attorney office which makes it possible to meet clients wherever they are located and provide them with consultation and document drafting on-site and in real time.
An attorney that comes to you. Now that’s what I call client-centered service.
How long will it be before we more attorneys start differentiating themselves by going that extra mile for their clients? Especially those who may not be ambulatory?
In the meantime, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys aka NAELA makes it easy to find practitioners who specialize in Elder Law on their very well-organized directory.
Just like it used it be back in the day, in-home doctor visits are making a come-back thanks to disruptive companies like Heal which lets you book an in-home doctor appointment for just $99.
To keep up with the times, forward-looking estate planning attorneys such as Michael Brennan who is licensed in 3 states and Brooke Hardie in Texas are embracing technology in providing their clients with flat rate pricing as a result of leveraging virtual consultations.
The rapid rate of adoption in virtual collaboration tools such as Slack for chat and Zoom for video conferencing has also made a jaw-dropping impact in how modern teams collaborate in the workplace.
Thanks to these tools, developers and designers now mostly work in distributed teams around the globe where the only productivity constraint is a stable internet connection. This has led to the rise of companies such as Remote Year which makes living and working abroad a breeze.
Busy and tech-savvy knowledge workers about to enter the next phase of the lives after purchasing a first home or having their first child now expect the same convenience and cost-effectiveness offered by AI-enabled “Robo-advisor” money management services like Wealthfront and Betterment when interviewing an estate planning attorney.
As the chart above shows. The shift towards technology is undeniable and massive.
While there will always be a market for highly personalized concierge grade and boutique style service offerings, it is important to provide options for those who are comfortable transacting from the comfort of their home or place of work.
This is especially true for clients who are self-employed or home-bound during regular business hours. In an attention-starved, hectic, information-overloaded society, every minute counts.
For the modern law firm that is serious about lowering the barriers for the acquisition of tech-savvy, convenience-focused customers, it will be vital to leverage various tools and technologies and service providers to provide.
The sites below can be very helpful when making the transition to a practice which is ready to take on more virtual or remote clients. For attorneys who are already working with virtual clients it may be possible to add even more
Attorneys who decide to go fully virtual can start leveraging the aforementioned tools and services even more aggressively to carve out a niche for themselves before the broader marketplace for legal services catches up with the likes of Axiom Law.
Stay tuned for in-depth interviews with attorneys who are making a timely transition into the digital age.