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    Wednesday
    Jul112012

    A New Vision for Estate Planning

    It may surprise you to know that 50 to 60 percent of Americans do not have any form of estate plan.  Or that well over 50 percent of those who have done an estate plan have not kept it up to date. 

    As estate planning lawyers, we have always prided ourselves on our competency and expertise – perhaps even to a fault.  After all, what good is our expertise if it is not being utilized by those who need it?  Those of us who strive to be at the top of our profession as estate planning lawyers often spend too much time attempting to impress our colleagues with our technical expertise, and not enough time learning how to remove the obstacles that prevent people from establishing and maintaining an estate plan.

    This has long troubled us and is now spurring us to re-think our profession.  Yes, professional competency is necessary, but it is only a starting point.  We are discovering “again” that we really value relationships. Why not make relationships the focus of our practice?

    We have given a great deal of thought and discussion to this issue, resulting in the following vision for Phillips Estate Law:

    As estate planning lawyers, we strive to create life-long relationships with our clients as their trusted advisors. Through such a relationship, we endeavor to bring value to our clients by providing peace, security, and control before they experience an event that takes it all away.  Thus, we view a Will as the beginning of a relationship, not the end.

    Implementing this vision will involve a certain amount of risk as we attempt to provide clearer communication, better teaching, more efficient fee structures, innovative educational practices, proactive processes, and superior use of technology, all designed to help more people put into place and maintain estate plans that will reflect their values, protect and provide for their loved ones, and even pass down their legacy.

    We will be learning as we go, and we will need your feedback to help us discover what works and what does not.

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