As 64 percent of Americans enter retirement without a will, there is a huge market of people who could be served by estate planning attorneys.
If you have the best trust software for attorneys on the market, you could be providing inexpensive services to that massive number of retirees. Instead of scratching your head as to why your firm isn't growing, take action to make it grow by finding software to make your job easier.
Here are four questions to ask yourself when you're looking for the right software solution.
1. Does It Help Prep Documents?
When you're on the hunt for estate planning software, you'll find hundreds of potential solutions. When you're trying to sort out which ones are the best for your business model or for your clients, weed out the ones that don't make life easier.
If your software solution is going to do one thing, it should help you to prep documents for your clients. When you're coming up with wills for your clients, most will follow a standard formula. As long as all of your clients are located in the same state or even the same county, you're going to be doing a lot of the same work for all of them.
Professional trust attorneys rely on software that can help you to create, organize, and manage documents. By entering a few simple pieces of information, you can generate a simple will for the less complicated clients who come into your office. Not every client will be the same but many will follow a similar formula.
Having a system in place to help you draft documents should also extend to your clients as well. If you can send them a simple link to get them started, they can take care of some of the initial work for you, saving you both some time and energy.
2. Does It Offer CRM Solutions?
Customer relationship management software is an important piece of technology for attorneys. If you run a large firm, you need to keep track of every interaction you have with your clients.
If you work hourly, this is a good way to ensure that you keep a log of all of your hours and what you did during that time. If you work for a set of clients over a long period of time, you're going to want to know specific information about them and pass it along to new lawyers. Rather than having your paralegals or new partners start from scratch, they can get a little primer on every client.
You need your CRM software to be able to cover you from intake all the way to invoice and allow you to manage your cases better. You'll need a document storage feature as well as an integrated calendar to let you know about important dates and deadlines.
Integrate it with accounting software and your estate firm will run like a well-oiled machine.
3. Can It Calculate Your Taxes?
When you're working on estates and planning trusts, it's important to be able to plan for and calculate taxes. As estate taxes change over time, your clients may not be on top of all of the nuances of the law. As their attorney, it's your responsibility to manage those changes and ensure the best outcome for your clients.
While some software might seem more like it's standard financial planning software, it can be adapted for smaller firms. Already have financial planning software installed? You can plug in your client's figures or calculate your own business's expenses.
Comprehensive tax planning software that's typically used by accountants can be adapted for use by firms like yours. If you have the ability to work with tools that are complex and thorough, your clients will applaud the hard work you do. If you don't have time to learn a complex new tool, you might want to leave tax calculation in the hands of a professional accountant.
4. Does It Lock Documents Up?
Having a secure server where you can keep your documents safe is essential to the privacy of your clients and the integrity of your firm. While there are hundreds of potential platforms you could lock your documents up in, there are some basic elements you have to have. Security should be your number one concern.
The platform that you choose should allow you to store as many documents as you need and should scale up as your firm grows. You should be able to easily share your documents with clients and access them as you need if you're working on the go.
Some firms will provide document storage as a paid service to their clients and will want to have a link available on their page. Included in your platform choice should be a secure login element to allow clients access to their own files and no one else's.
If you're working with high-profile clients or dealing with high-value items, a data breach could cost you or your clients millions of dollars. If it's too easy for nefarious actors or people who want to change your clients' documents around to get in, they could cause serious trouble. If you don't have strong security measures in place you won't be able to hold the guilty actors responsible.
Make sure your secure platform provides you with constant logs of who and what goes in or comes out.
The Best Trust Software for Attorneys Will Be Easy to Use
When you've found the right trust software for attorneys, it will feel like a perfect fit.
Rather than struggling to learn the software and working with a clunky interface, it should all feel intuitive to you. Not only that, but it should serve as a solution to help your clients as well.
If you're looking to start or grow an estate planning firm, follow our guide for tips.