Law offices working with sensitive information including wills and estates require a practice management system that stands out from the pack and supports the many needs of their practice area. When engaging with clients, personal information such as the deed to their house or private banking details are brought to your office demonstrating trust and respect from your client. Estate planning attorneys must have a solution in place that nurtures their practice of law in order to continue to build that trust and confidence.
While Amicus Attorney Premium Edition is designed to work with firms of all types and sizes, below are a few ways it can be customized to meet the needs of your estate planning firm.
Tracking Client Relationships
Estate planning attorneys work directly with clients and their families during an emotionally charged process. Knowledge of a wealth of information including the family tree is needed for balancing all of the names, ages, addresses, spouse and children’s information for a client’s plan. Amicus Attorney allows for contact control we never saw with the paper Rolodex cards or Outlook contacts list with a dedicated relationship section.
By defining two contact’s relationship, anyone working out of the program will have the same access to client details. Law firms are full of this type of information, and Amicus replaces the need to ask around the office for case details. Instead, you can see them right in your practice management system.
Keeping track of referrals is essential to understand who is bringing in new business. In Amicus, you can see the referral party directly on the file. You can also open the referral’s contact and see their legacy of working with your office including fees accrued on those referred cases.
Reviewing and tracking where your clients come from enable estate planning (or any law firm) to improve and build upon marketing efforts.
Staying In Touch
Keeping in touch with existing clients is another opportunity for estate planning firms to increase customer satisfaction and build their referral base. Simply thanking your clients for their business or reminding them of any follow-up activities can inspire a referral.
Reviewing estate plans or wills should be scheduled in your practice management system, but it’s often ‘out of sight, out of mind’ once a client’s file is no longer on your daily list.
Amicus can remind you to keep in touch with a specific people. This is especially helpful if there is an annual review of their plan or another event your client’s should be aware of.
Document Creation & Automation
Estate planning law firms are document-driven, meaning, the use (and often re-use) of document types shape the success of their firm. If you’re working with an existing estate planning group, you likely have draft documents or a forms repository within arm’s reach which can be helpful until clerical errors produce misspelled names or incorrect addresses.
Amicus Attorney Premium offers a full document automation component. Microsoft Word, WordPerfect documents or even Outlook email messages can be ran directly from a file or contact. Users will find templates easy to generate, collaborate on, and customize. The types of documents your firm can create are limitless with numerous styles from correspondence to fee agreements or estate wills. You’re just a few clicks away from producing professional and accurate documents designed around your client’s information, while reflecting your firm’s terminology or court rules. Firm members are no longer forced to track down a paper file, check for client information and then reformat documents manually. Amicus will do the running around for you. Document Automation improves the quality of your documentation, reduce the risk for error, and accelerate the production of key documents.
Flexible Time & Billing Tools
Time entry or to-do lists are included in all practice management systems, but Amicus Attorney’s intuitive design takes these features to another level.
Firms working off flat fee amounts or contingency work such as estate planning typically have a faint idea which are their most profitable clients, or which step in the estate plan is the biggest time waste. But unless you have data to support your perception, it’s merely an opinion (and therefore may be incorrect).
By tracking time contemporaneously, you’ll see the value of your work across file type, client, and firm member. Unlike similar products, Amicus allows you to bill your file in a flat-fee arrangement while still tracking time. The ability to accurately track and understand how much time is spent on phone calls, emails, and document preparation will help you create a more prepared and profitable office.
Task management is another area of day-to-day operations where Amicus can truly adapt to the estate planning firms’ business. Precedents or workflow charts can be designed to include both tasks and appointments and applied to files as needed including date dependency rules.
For example, if a firm always performs the same two tasks and three appointments at the beginning of a new estate or will plan, they can just apply their Precedent to the new file and have complete confidence in their upcoming schedule. The risk for error or inaccuracy is, again, replaced by a system of procedures designed to articulate your firm’s workflow.
No two clients are alike and no two estate plans are ever the same, so the need for a practice management system that meets your firm’s needs is imperative. As a swell of new practice management software options are available for offices today, keep in mind Amicus Attorney has over 20 years of developing software around the way attorneys work.