For estate planning attorneys, the client’s legacy is their primary responsibility. To be successful, lawyers need to be well organized and must track multiple documents and files.
Whether it’s a will, living will, or power of attorney — wills and estate planning attorneys can benefit from using a streamlined estate planning software solution.
What Do Wills and Estate Planning Lawyers Do?
Wills and estate planning lawyers, also known as estate law attorneys or probate attorneys, are licensed legal professionals with an in-depth understanding of state and federal laws. These lawyers help manage the impact of how an estate will be inventoried, valued, distributed, and taxed after a person’s death.
Along with providing education about the probate process, an estate planning attorney can assist with:
- Creating a will
- Designating beneficiaries
- Establishing power of attorney and durable medical power of attorney
- Finding ways to avoid the probate court process
- Finding ways to reduce and avoid estate tax when possible
Setting up trusts to protect assets, both to the benefit of the client during their lifetime and the benefit of beneficiaries after death
Estate planning attorneys typically charge a flat fee in exchange for creating legal documents like wills and power of attorney, but they can also be retained to help maintain an estate or act on a client’s behalf to address disputes.
An estate planning attorney can also be brought in to guide someone with the power over attorney of a decedent’s estate through the probate court process. While some clients go the DIY route for drafting a will, in some cases, an attorney can help avoid probate court entirely. However, this depends on the types of assets.
What Is Wills and Estate Planning Software?
Wills and estate planning software is a centralized platform for collecting and tracking documents and information related to estate planning, including information for trusts, power of attorney, wills, and probate.
Using a cloud-based platform, like PracticePanther, estate planning software allows attorneys to access key estate case information from anywhere, whether in the office, in the field, or at home, all with the same security measures. Estate attorneys have the flexibility to meet with clients wherever it’s most convenient, including at a hospital or in their homes to address end-of-life matters.
PracticePanthers streamlines the collection of client information and keeps cases organized to reduce additional administrative work. When it comes time for billing, invoices can be automatically generated based on the information in the case file.
What Are the Benefits of Wills and Estate Planning Software?
While every will and estates planning lawyer manages their practice differently, here are a few benefits they can expect when implementing wills and estate planning software.
Estate planning can be complex and time-consuming. Estate planning software simplifies the estate planning process and includes all the information an attorney needs to assemble and alter estate documents as required.
Rather than keeping a mountain of paperwork, all the related documents and files for an estate are accessible from one digitized location. This simplification of the process not only benefits the lawyer but the client. End-of-life planning can be stressful, but clients are given greater confidence and peace of mind with a streamlined process.
Clients count on having error-free estate plans that are drafted quickly and painlessly. Using estate planning software reduces the risks of mistakes and errors, improving the efficiency of the overall planning process. Attorneys can spend more time with clients, which is a valuable investment for a law firm.
Intuitive Legal Technology
Estate planning should be an efficient and hassle-free process for both lawyer and client. User-friendly estate planning software doesn’t take much time to learn, allowing firms to use it as soon as possible.
This software also provides calendaring to stay up to date on appointments, events, and deadlines. Schedules can be organized and integrated into calendars with Google or Outlook, and appointments can be converted into time entries to ensure billable time is captured.
Meeting Client Demands
Clients retain an estate attorney to ensure that their last wishes and distribution of assets are honored. Estate planning software helps attorneys plan for their end-of-life with less stress and worry.
Estate planning software can draft client-friendly documents that are easy for non-legal people to read and understand. The software also enables alterations to information in documents as the client chooses, as well as customizable formatting.
More than ever, clients are looking for law firms that are open to technology and innovation. When it comes to end-of-life planning, lawyers can generate client-friendly documents quickly and comprehensively to impress clients and inspire confidence.
This not only benefits the direct client relationship, but it has a larger impact on the law firm’s reputation. If clients have a positive experience, they’re more likely to recommend a firm to others for estate planning.
Wills and estate planning software offers users ongoing support if technical issues arise, relieving both their stress and the client’s stress. Support can be valuable, especially when potentially devastating effects arise.
When firms implement wills and estate planning software into their processes, they receive support from the vendor to ensure they know how to use all the features to their fullest and can navigate different technical issues, should they arise.
Estate plans typically contain a lot of sensitive information that would be devastating to a client if it was leaked or compromised, including details about financial assets and medical history. All of this information needs to be kept secure and protected throughout each stage of the estate planning process.
Wills and estate planning software makes security a breeze. It comes with built-in security features to protect against data loss, whether from a hacker, user error, or natural disaster. This software improves the security of the firm, and by extension, security for the clients. This can foster more trusting relationships between client and attorney.
Implement the Best Wills and Estate Planning Software
Wills and estate planning attorneys carry a heavy responsibility to their clients and their legacies. The process of drafting wills and handling estate planning can be cumbersome, but with the right legal practice management software, wills and estate planning lawyers can spend less time on administrative work and more time working directly with clients.
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