When clients come to an estate planning attorney, they do it because they need help. People only come forward when they realize they need a plan on how to leave behind all that they've worked for. And by the time that happens, there may not be too much time left.
That's why estate planning attorneys need estate planning software that works effectively and efficiently. Estate planning software should never cost you time in any way. Instead, it should streamline the estate planning process and engage both attorneys and clients equally.
Making a high-quality estate plan is a team effort, after all. Even though most estate planning software is designed with attorneys in mind, it should also include features that engage clients. It should explain estate planning in a way that the average person would understand, and help guide everyone through the process.
And to find an estate planning software that does exactly that, you need to know what to look for. Not all estate planning software is made the same, and to learn how to tell the differences between them, keep reading below!
Estate Planning Software Should be Efficient
The first thing you should look for when searching for estate planning software is efficiency. The software you choose to work with should make the process more efficient, not more complicated. And if you can't understand the software, or if it's just hard to use, then it will actually harm your work with clients.
It's tough to identify what clients need out of their estate plan, while also trying to work with software tools that you can't understand. Every second you spend trying to use your software is one that could be spent working with clients. It's better to ask clients questions about what they want than to ask where you can find a specific tool on a piece of software.
Research the software before purchasing it, and make sure you will feel comfortable with the user interface. Most of the time, the software simply suffers from a poorly designed interface. If you can't understand how to work with it, then it doesn't matter how functional it is. It won't be efficient, so it won't help your office at all.
Your Clients Expect You to Work Quickly
Most law offices invest in estate planning software because they realize clients come to them for one thing — speed. If you give anyone enough time, they can figure out how to formally write a will. Yet, the people estate planning attorneys work with are usually ones that don't have time.
Most people put off planning their estate until they realize they can't wait anymore. They come to you because attorneys work quicker than they can. Your software should help you meet their expectations, instead of slowing you down.
Software Should be Easy to Use
The most important part of any estate planning software is that it's easy to use. Estate planning involves multiple moving parts, from interviewing clients, collecting information about them, and drafting documents. It isn't just a word processor — estate planning software does more than that.
Yet, with all that added functionality, it can be hard to use. Navigating the user interface can become a challenge as you try to sift through information and edit the documents themselves. And it's not your job to learn how to use the software.
It's the developers' jobs to make sure it's easy to use in the first place. And that means more than just having a simple user interface. Keep reading below to learn what your estate planning software should have to make it easy to use!
Software That's Easier to Use Makes Communication Easier
One of the hardest parts of estate planning is communicating with clients. Putting legal terms like "revocable trust" or "estate tax" into words most people understand is challenging. It takes practice and skill to put hard legal concepts into average terminology.
Your estate planning software should help you connect with clients by communicating each step of the process to them. While clients will always turn to you for help for anything in the process, the estate planning software should explain things to them too.
When their questions are automatically answered, you can focus on preparing a better plan for them. And any effective estate planning software should engage clients by offering clear definitions for every document they interact with.
Convenience Shouldn't Come at a Cost
Estate planning software for lawyers should be designed to be convenient. Not only should it be easy to install, but you should also be able to access it anywhere. There should be a level of cloud-storage which allows you to fetch documents for clients, wherever you are.
And there should be additional convenience features included as well. Good estate software will help you automatically sort files, will help you manage your workflow better, and will help educate clients on the law. Most of all, the software shouldn't make you break the bank just to meet clients' needs better.
You should also factor price into the question of whether you should purchase estate planning software. Find a balance between what you want the software to do and what you can afford.
Software Support Means You Can Support Clients Better
The best way to tell if any piece of software is worth getting is by seeing how committed the team that developed it is. If the team believes in the product they made, they will stand by it. They will offer support systems for anyone who may have issues with it and will promote the software.
Never invest in anything that doesn't include some kind of customer support. You want to be able to turn to someone in case something goes wrong, and not just for your own sake. If something goes wrong with your estate planning software, your client will suffer, too.
Get The Most Out of Your Estate Planning Software!
Your estate planning software should enrich the estate planning process. It shouldn't complicate the way you work with clients, and no one in your office should dread using it. Instead, your estate planning software should help guide attorneys and clients alike through the process of planning for the inevitable.
Yet, not all estate planning software does that. Some can be too difficult to use, or may not help you accomplish the goals you set for yourself or your office. The more that you try to force the software to work, the more difficult it will be for you to help people plan for the future.
For software that helps you reach new heights and helps you work closely with clients, contact us. We are always eager to show you how our tools can help you improve your office and your relationships with clients!