I’ve heard that my career as an estate planning attorney will end at some point as artificial intelligence (“AI”) improves, much the same as the web did away with travel agents. Proponents of AI feel that consumers flock to anything that is faster, easier, and cheaper.
I respectfully disagree. At least not for those who understand what the commodity of our practices is to our clients. Those of us who recognize what clients truly value will not disappear like travel agents largely did, but instead will be respected for our knowledge and wisdom.
Knowledge is vastly different post-Internet. What I mean by that is that professionals were, prior to Google and similar search engines, the gatekeepers of knowledge. Today, one can look up nearly anything without having to attend medical, law school or trade school of any kind.
In my experience, however, the explosion of available information hasn’t led to the extinction of the best professionals. When my mother developed acute myeloid leukemia, for example, I immediately went to WebMD and other sites to learn about the disease and available treatments.
After several hours of searching and reading – I was more confused than ever about what we should do. It was only after visiting the wise physicians at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston that we felt clear about what treatments, chemotherapies, and bone marrow transplant options my mother would consider and ultimately follow.
As good as the Internet may be in breaking through knowledge gatekeepers, it also causes information overload, mind-clutter, confusion, and decision fatigue. Patients, clients, and customers will always value the counsel of a wise professional over that of mechanical, artificial “intelligence.” Wisdom is more valuable than knowledge.
What does this mean for estate planners? Several things if you want to remain relevant over the course of the next several decades: First, we need to be more than competent – in fact we need to specialize in tax, trust, estate, and estate administration law. It’s important to continually challenge and upgrade our own base of knowledge.
Second, we need to understand what our clients consider a commodity – even if you don’t feel the same way. To understand what I’m speaking of, enroll in my FREE, 45-minute Practice Xcelerator Preview – “Why Did you Undercharge that Client”.
Many estate planning attorneys undercharge for the level of skill, expertise and experience that goes into their plans. Learning how to demonstrate the highest client value proposition – your wisdom – is key to charging premium fees for premium services that your clients will be happy to pay for. This is what my next Practice Xcelerator Preview Presentation covers – it’s worth 45 minutes of your time! Register here.
To Your Bigger Future,
Craig R. Hersch
Founder, The Freedom Practice
Florida Bar Board Certified Wills, Trusts & Estates Attorney/CPA
Senior Partner, Sheppard Law Firm, Fort Myers Florida