For those attorneys looking to offer estate planning services, there is much more to it than just knowing the law. Estate planning can often carry with it a sense of doubt as to whether it’s necessary or not.Emotions surrounding the actual planning can run high, as for many people it can feel sad, final, or even confusing. In other words, you’ll need to take into account a variety of emotional and financial considerations that don’t necessarily come into play with other types of legal issues.
So, how can you provide your clients with exceptional estate planning services? Here are some things to keep in mind.
Communicate Clearly What the Purpose of Estate Planning Is
The first tip is to ensure you’re communicating clearly to your clients why estate planning is so important. Some will be confused as to why they should take these steps when they are “young and healthy”, when in reality, this is the best time to go ahead with plans.As this Estate Planning Attorney points out, you can benefit from the following:
- Planning an estate ensures no fights occur once a person passes away
- End of life wishes are respected
- Privacy is kept
- Assets will be divided the way you want them to be
- If you have kids, this is the time to choose a guardian for any minors
- It will cut down on the money spent (estate taxes will be less)
Estate planning will just make the entire process smoother and less stressful after a loved one passes away.
Show Compassion for Clients Who Are Emotional
It’s also very important to remember that estate planning can be extremely emotional for people to go through, even if they are healthy. Taking a look at one’s life and deciding how to divide it up, who will care for minors, and making such definitive plans can be scary, sad, depressing, and stressful.
As an estate planning attorney, you can be the most helpful simply by showing compassion and caring, and ensuring that you are able to answer any questions they may have. You don’t want to leave them with any uncertainties about the process. This also means you need to be extremely clear on state specific laws and regulations involving estate planning.
In other words, communication skills – listening and speaking – are essential in your role as an estate planning attorney.
Be Sure to Discuss Long-Term Care
One topic that clients may not even think to cover is long-term care. This refers to such things as a nursing home or assisted living. Long-term care is actually something that can, and should be addressed in estate planning; again, it will help to prevent fights or confusion from happening should this level of care be needed.
Giving Clients What They Need
These tips will help you to really expand your level of service when it comes to estate planning, and ensure that your clients not only get the answers they are looking for, but feel they were understood and treated with respect.