In last month’s newsletter, I discussed an often overlooked marketing strategy that many estate planning attorneys are missing – – bringing back in existing clients for a review of their plan. The topic seems to have resonated quite a bit with our readers and my fellow colleagues, several of whom took us up on our offer to schedule a consultation with our Executive Director, Kristina Schneider, to go over how to put together a review process in place for existing clients.
One of the most common questions that has come up in these consultations has been, “What can you sell to existing clients?”
Obviously, as you review your clients’ estate plans, you will find where there may be changes or needs for updating the plan. But, you might be wondering, “What if not much has changed? What else is there to market and sell to an existing client that doesn’t have changes?” Thankfully, I am happy to share with you that there are plenty of things to market to existing clients!
SPECIAL & UNIQUE AMENDMENTS
About every 5 to 10 years, I have put together a number of special Amendment Projects for my clients. In fact, I am currently rolling out one of the biggest Amendment Projects and updates for my clients right now. To me, this particular strategy is going to be the answer for most estate planning attorneys who have seen a dive in business since estate tax planning is no longer needed for most clients. Once I’ve rolled this out and tested it with my own clients, it will be made available through The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. If you’d like more information and to be notified once that’s available, please let us know by signing up below.
THE SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE MANUAL
The Successor Trustee Manual is a plain-English Manual that I developed over 10 years ago. I saw a need for this because many of my clients expressed a great deal of concern about whether or not they or their chosen trustees would know what to do when the time came. I also saw a great deal of post-death administration business leave my firm from not having established any relationship with my clients’ trustees. The Successor Trustee Manual not only helped alleviate most of my clients’ concerns, but we have found it to be an effective way to get our clients’ trustees to contact us when the time comes and have us help with the administration. For more information about the Successor Trustee Manual, click here (and to get a special discount on this product from now through August 31, 2017, use the promo code AUGUSTNEWS).
HEALTH DOCUMENT EMERGENCY CARD
My firm utilizes the services of Docubank® to provide my clients a Health Document Emergency Card. This is a 24/7/365 service that allows the clients and their health providers and health decision makers to immediately access their important legal documents in the event of an emergency, such as when rushed to the hospital. Docubank® provides the client a card, which has your law firm logo on it, along with some other pertinent information, including the client’s medication, allergies, and health care agents’ names and contact info. Clients can simply go to Docubank® and get this service themselves. However, for over 15 years now, we have been providing this service to our existing clients through my law firm. Not only do we get these cards at a discounted rate, but if a prospect becomes a new client or an existing client gets an update to their plan, this is a benefit that’s provided to them without additional charge. It’s built into the fee. Some have asked whether this merely creates another administrative task for your staff. The application process is fairly simple for your staff to manage, and I find the real benefit to promote to the client, along with the subtle branding that’s right in the client’s wallet, continues to solidify the client relationship and even generates referrals when they show others the card!. Contact Docubank® directly at 1-866-DOCUBANK and let them know that Phil Kavesh from The Ultimate Estate Planner referred you. Be sure to inquire about our special 3-Year Membership arrangement and make sure you get the same discount for your clients that we have arranged for my law firm clients.
STANDALONE IRA BENEFICIARY TRUSTS
If you haven’t already implemented standalone IRA Beneficiary Trusts, such as my IRS PLR approved IRA Inheritance Trust®, now is the time to do so! If you weren’t offering this trust strategy the last time you met with clients, now is definitely a good time to talk to them about it. We have even see where we’ve talked to our clients about doing an IRA Inheritance Trust® and, for whatever reason, even when they initially decline, they often are later ready to move forward with it. It’s important that you know how to explain the benefits and market and sell these trusts to your clients. If you haven’t already started to utilize IRA beneficiary trusts, click here use the promo code AUGUSTNEWS from now through August 31st, 2017 for a special offer on these materials.
MEDICAID ASSET PROTECTION TRUSTS
If you haven’t already added Elder Law planning into your practice yet, this is the time to consider it. As your clients grow older, more and more have a need for some assistance with a variety of planning involved in Elder Law, including but not limited to Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts (“MAPTs”), Veterans Asset Protection Trusts (“VAPTs”), Long-Term Care (“LTC”) Insurance and more. My law firm has spent over the last two years integrating Elder Law into the services we offer and have done so successfully with the help of ElderCounsel. If you would like to learn more about how to add Elder Law into your practice, click here.
Outside of just looking at what changes may or may not be needed with respect to your existing client’s estate plan, you may now have the opportunity to consider niche areas of planning that you have either started to offer in your practice or have outside referrals for. Even if you don’t have any kind of arrangements to receive a referral fee of some kind, at the end of the day, your clients are better serviced and you are considered a “hero” for directing them to colleagues who can best handle these situations for them. These other services can include, but are not limited to:
- Asset Protection Planning (e.g. LLCs and DAPTs)
- Income Tax Planning (e.g. NINGs)
- Pet Trusts
- Gun Trusts
- LGBTQ Planning
- Planning for Minors and Young Adult Children
- Financial Planning (e.g. insurance and investment reviews)
In addition to all of the above potential opportunities, there’s always the intangible benefits of meeting with your existing clients. It’s a great way to update your information and records on them (including mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses). As mentioned in my previous article, it’s also a great way to continue to nurture a much more long-term client relationship that might not have been there previously. You may also, sadly, learn of the passing of some clients, as well as clients who have moved away or even moved on with another firm. Having all of this updated information is extremely helpful for keeping up-to-date records on your clients. It saves you time and money down the road and also helps to build value to your practice.
If you would like to learn more about any of the above items or how to implement a review process for your clients, please do not hesitate to set up a free brief consultation with Kristina Schneider. In just a few minutes, Kristina can help identify strategies that will assist you in your practice and identify ways that we may be able to assist you. Schedule a free consultation with Kristina.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Attorney Philip J. Kavesh is the principal of one of the largest estate planning firms in California – – Kavesh, Minor and Otis – – which has been in business since 1981. He is also the President of The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc., which provides a variety of training, marketing and practice-building products and services for estate planning professionals.
If you would like more information or have a question for him, he can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 1-866-754-6477.
OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE
- TAX PLANNING: California Supreme Court Weakens Protection for Spendthrift Trusts by Edwin P. Morrow III, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), CFP®, CM&AA®
- ADVANCED PLANNING: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Oshins – Chapter III (First-Tier Trust States) by Steven J. Oshins Esq., AEP (Distinguished)
- LIFE INSURANCE PLANNING: 7 of the Most Common Life Settlement Situations by Daxton Fryer, Senior Life Settlement Broker