Protect Your Client’s Pets! Estate Planning for Pet Owners and Their Animal Companions

Give Your Clients the Security of Knowing that Their
Furry Friends are Secure!
Most attorneys know that there are four significant trends
right now in America:

The aging of the U.S. population,
The increase in pet ownership,
The growing importance of pets in their owners lives (increased health, longevity and mental acuity)
An increase in the amount of money spent on a pets care and well-being
As attorneys involved in the estate planning and asset protection process, we are encouraging you to…

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How to Complete an Annual Marketing Plan for Your Practice

My goal today is to provide some ideas to help you create your annual marketing plan. To get started I recommend that you purchase a large wall calendar for the upcoming year to create your firm’s marketing goals and timetable. Since we are only a few weeks from the New Year, this is an excellent time to take out your new calendar and decide what you and your staff will do on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to serve, increase and expand your client base.

Here are some ideas to create your “marketing by design” plan…

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Should Estate Planning Professionals Have a Coach?

I recently had the good fortune to read Atul Gawande’s New Yorker Magazine article entitled, “Personal Best: Top Athletes and Singers Have Coaches. Should You?”.

Gawande is a cardiac surgeon who wanted to know whether personal coaches could really improve a professional’s performance. After studying the effectiveness of coaches in the case of athletes, teachers and singers; he decided to hire a personal coach to see if it would improve his performance as a cardiac surgeon. He hired another cardiac surgeon who he admired for the task, and his performance and effectiveness as a surgeon dramatically improved. Gawande found that a coach provided an outside set of ears and eyes which provided objective observations aimed at promoting improved technique.

No doubt estate planning professionals can benefit from hiring a coach…

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Staying Focused During the Final Quarter of the Year

We are in the final stretch, the final three months of each year brings the dark winter solstice which seems to make the hours move more slowly each day. What is your plan to lead your staff through an end-of-the-year analysis of the goals your firm has accomplished? Sometimes the dark, cold days of winter slow us down. At the end of the work day, it is much easier to pass on stopping to exercise at the gym and instead we load up on the carbs when we finally get home! How do you stay motivated to lead your team and serve your clients?

Do you have a plan to stay connected to your clients during the holiday season? The final weeks of the year can be unpredictable…

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How to Manage Your Time: Are You Focused On the Past? Are You Living In the Future?

Have you ever considered how much of your time is spent mulling over the way things went south in court last week? Or why the one client you really wanted to help out didn’t show up for their appointment? What could have happened? Of course, there is the regret over the past– words said or unsaid, things that could have been handled that weren’t, maybe an entire day was ‘wasted’ at an off-site seminar with no apparent value to your current workload.

Wishing, hoping, worrying, thinking, wondering, wishing some more– living in the past does absolutely nothing to move you into a bright future. Spending time rehashing what might have been is similar to thinking about working on your business, planning on working on your business, organizing ideas to use in your business, etc. All of these activities center in head and they…

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How to Counsel Your Estate Planning Clients About the Benefits of Charitable Planning

Planned giving is commonly defined as “the complementary fund-raising activity which helps individuals with charitable intent make the largest gift possible with the right asset, in the most advantageous form and at the most appropriate time.”

For most of my career as an estate planning attorney the focus of my work with clients has been estate, gift and generation skipping tax planning. When the estate tax exemption was at the low amount of $600,000 it was easy to recommend testamentary charitable gifting as an effective estate tax planning strategy.

With the federal estate tax exemption…

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