Your Lawyer’s Life Expectancy
Veronique finished signing her estate plan documents and looked up at me and sighed, “That is such a relief! Every time we drive in bad weather, I worry about dying before we have provided for our granddaughters.” She has a lovely French accent, so those words were definitely music to this attorney’s ears. But then with a note of concern, she looked directly at my face and asked, “How old are you?” Her worry had just changed from completing her estate plan to worrying about whether or not I would outlive her. She wanted to feel confident that I would be around to help provide guidance for her granddaughter’s trust. “ I am 58,” I responded, “and the good news is that Law Elder Law has a second generation built-in. I am the oldest at our firm, but we have many young, capable people here to hold your hand if something happens to me.” But Veronique was right to be concerned. I was born in 1950 and my life expectancy is about 21 more years. Just last month when I was on vacation, one of my attorney acquaintances died suddenly of a heart attack. He was 61 and a sole practitioner. I have no idea what is happening with his client files. Your attorney should take no offense if you ask, “How old are you?”; “How will you keep track of my file in the future?”; and “What is your succession plan if something happens to you?” Every client deserves to know the answers to those questions. It is completely reasonable for you as a prospective client to enquire as to the succession plan of your attorney. Here at Law Elder Law one of our goals is to run our law practice with modern, business-style systems designed to care for our clients every step of the way. Our systems begin with sending our message to prospective clients and ends with our final information and electronic file storage. We even have our own information technology and media manager, Angenette Moreland. But most importantly, at Law Elder Law we provide services to our clients as a team. Running a law practice today requires management of much more than just the legal work, and we take that seriously—for ourselves and for our clients.