Hourly or Fixed Fee?

How do you charge for estate planning services? I’ve known lawyers who for many years haven’t  budged from charging for their services by the hour. They don’t believe that any other way is practical or appropriate. “How do I pull a number out of the air?” they might ask. Or, “what if the file takes […]

Income and Wealth Inequality

The income and wealth inequality political movement has been growing for quite some time, coming to a head in this year’s presidential race. Whether you agree inequality is bad or good is beside the point. The issue I’d like to address here is how it affects your clients, and therefore your practice. Specifically, we’ll review […]

Getting the Word Out

Most small to medium size estate planning law firms don’t have the budget to create, produce, edit and run a large-scale media advertising campaign.  Newspaper advertising rates in many markets are very expensive, even as readership declines.  Television advertising, likewise, is both expensive and fragmented. Yet, in today’s experience economy, content is king.  In past […]

Packaging Your Wisdom

As an estate-planning professional, how do you package your services so that your clients can identify the uniquely valuable client experience that you and your firm offer? I wrote in an earlier column that since the development of the microchip and with it the Internet, our clients view the wills, trusts and legal documents we […]

Quid Pro Quo

Quid pro quo. If I refer a client to you, should I have a corresponding expectation that you will soon refer one to me? It seems that many professionals in the legal, tax and financial services industries have quid pro quo attitudes. I’ve noticed it over my 27 years practicing as an estate-planning attorney. It […]

Abundance Versus Scarcity

In this election, year there’s been much discussion over equality, including the lack of income equality.  Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders uses this theme to appeal to millennials who feel that they aren’t getting their fair share of the American dream. Without getting too deeply into the political discourse, to accept the notion that government […]

Retirement as an Outmoded Concept

Retirees constitute a large percentage of our estate or financial planning clientele, yet saving for retirement becomes more difficult with increased costs of living, healthcare, taxes and raising a family. But is retirement outdated? Will those of us in today’s workforce enjoy a comfortable retirement? The better question is should we ever plan to retire? […]

The Silver Bullet

Those who know me understand that I love marketing my estate planning law practice. I believe that we have thorough front-stage processes and back-stage methods that take care of clients in a uniquely positive way. To get the word out, I’ve  written professional articles for trade journals, as well as newspaper columns for laymen, posted […]

The Benefits to Building an Estate-Planning Team

A couple of decades ago, estate-planning attorneys might have gotten by with a legal assistant or two. Today, you may need an army to provide excellent client service. I prefer to call my colleagues and assistants our estate-planning “team”. Team Elements My team starts with me and one of my law partners, who’s also board […]

Building Your Team

A basketball team filled with point guards with no shooting guards, forwards or centers wouldn’t fare very well. A football team made up exclusively of offensive lineman, without a quarterback, running backs or wide receivers (not to mention a defense) wouldn’t win any games either. Just as sports teams require athletes of different sizes, shapes […]