As more than half of all adults are under prepared when it comes to estate planning, thankfully there are changes that are making it accessible to everyone. With technological developments, both clients and attorneys alike are able to put together a will faster than ever. Since you might not realize how technology could be changing the industry, we've put together a guide to help you understand the coming changes.
Here are five ways that technology is changing the will creation and trust planning process.
1. We're Digital, Mostly
In the world of estate planning, things might be a year or two behind other industries. However, with most documentation to be found online, business can be done efficiently. With so much documentation being passed around digitally, it's becoming standard to be able to file an entire plan without touching a piece of paper.
However, this isn't true in all instances. In rural towns and small cities that haven't made the digital jump yet, most of the paperwork required from clients hasn't been digitized. This can lead to a slightly more confusing process.
If you have to submit most of your paperwork digitally but need to have a certain form digitized, it can be harder than if the whole process were paper-based. Be sure that you can accept digital filings before you make any decisions.
Some districts, states, and counties arbitrarily require an "original copy" of a standardized form. While it might be a headache for your clients, let them know in advance which elements of their estate plan can be submitted digitally and which can't
2. Software Solutions Make It Streamlined
While email and chat modules have revolutionized communication between estate planners and clients, there are even more ways than ever to be productive. With the software solutions that are available to lawyers and estate planning specialists, there's potential to expand your client base. Instead of struggling to manage fewer clients, you can keep a wide base of clients happy and well organized with software.
Organizing an office is a struggle for any business professional. For lawyers and estate planners who have a lot of clients with a broad range of concerns to think about, software can keep things organized. You can assign your team to take on specific clients, forward all of the essential documents, and help them jump in and out of projects easily.
With the help of software, your firm can grow and take on new clients. When you set up standards and routine methods for serving your clients, you can use your software to make serving clients simple. A streamlined method for setting up, processing, and updating a will can keep clients happy and make them easier for you to juggle.
3. Business Can Be Conducted From Your Pocket
Thanks to the rise of digital applications that help with productivity, most business can now be conducted from the device in your pocket. Before you abandon your current solution, you'll have to do considerable research to find out which application works for you.
If you're currently using a software solution, see if they have a mobile version available for your operating system. Many companies are now making complementary mobile versions of their software to allow their customers to work as they go.
For small firms that have fewer employees, these applications can be essential to serving all of your clients. Where once it took a whole team of people to serve a single client, software solutions can give you everything you would get from a team.
If you can keep in touch with your team, collaborate on projects, and make edits while you're in transit or between meetings, you can serve clients better. The goal of any software solution that you try should be to serve more people better than ever before.
4. Clients Think They're More Informed
The speed of technological changes has been good for modern society by allowing us all to have access to more specialized information than ever before. Where once we were in the dark about the inner workings of most things, a quick google search can catch us up to all of the latest news. From the latest changes to bar requirements to which elected officials are supporting estate taxes, we can be informed immediately.
However, as more people have access to more information, lots of clients think that they know everything there is to know about estate planning. While it's nice to be talking to clients who have a basic grasp on what it takes to plan a will, you could struggle to fight what clients have seen online.
After a while, you'll get to know what some of the common misconceptions are so that you can plan for misinformation.
5. It Will Become More Streamlined
In the future, the process of estate planning will only become more streamlined and simplified. As more of our information is placed online and clients have access to their own wills to make changes, they'll be able to handle work on their own.
While you'll have to oversee the changes that they make, allow them to make their own changes. This will take away a lot of the work that distracts you from clients.
We'll also see digital signatures become the standard and make everything easier to verify. With the help of digital signatures, you can skip the steps of passing your forms back and forth. You'll get the signatures and notarizations you need on time.
Everything will speed up with the help of technology.
Estate Planning Makes Life Easier For Everyone
With trust and estate planning software becoming more accessible and easier to use, more people have the tools they need for their financial future. By empowering your clients, you can win their trust. As you make the process easier and more transparent with the help of technology, you can win clients who will remain devoted to you for generations.
If you want to serve your clients better, check out our guide to find out what your clients are looking for from their trust lawyer.