Most Estate Planning Websites Are Designed to Fail

By Tom Foster, Owner and Founder of Foster Web Marketing

The websites for most estate planning law firms suffer from a common problem. It’s a problem that is completely obvious to visitors and potential clients, but it often goes undetected by the lawyers that own the website. In the lawyers’ eyes, their websites appear to be attractive and contemporary, with all the bells and whistles needed to attract, convert, and retain their ideal clients. However, in the eyes of their visitors, their websites are falling flat.

So, what’s going on? What is this problem that’s so pervasive that it affects hundreds—even thousands—of estate planning websites across the nation?

Well, you don’t have to dig deep to find it. It’s not hidden in the little details. Instead, if you take a big step back and look around, you’ll see exactly why the websites for most estate planning firms are actually designed to fail.

Most Estate Planning Law Firms Design Websites That Are Focused on the Wrong Person

Before I go any further, I should tell you that I don’t think it’s your fault. It’s the job of your website designers and digital marketing partners to develop a strategy with you and steer you toward the most effective practices.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of website design agencies that are happy to cater to an estate planning lawyer’s ego rather than the clients and referral sources they’d like to attract. So, they create designs that make lawyers happy in the short term. These ego-driven designs are repetitive, usually following the same formula over and over again. It’s about degrees and accolades. It’s about media appearances. And it’s about engaging in a competition to boast about their highest-value cases.

This approach is a grave mistake, and it completely misses the true purpose of a law firm website. The primary objective should be to connect with the clients and referral sources you want to attract. In other words, it has to be about them—not you!

What Successful Websites for Estate Planning Attorneys Prioritize Instead

Your website needs to be able to cultivate online relationships that translate into tangible cases and clients. That has to be your guiding priority from the first moment you start working with a team to design your website, and it has to absolutely radiate from the final result. It has to be your North Star!

Your website should emphasize how your expertise has been instrumental in resolving real people’s problems, rather than showcasing your own greatness. So, instead of solely focusing on your achievements, your website should prioritize the following:

  • Providing answers to your ideal clients’ questions and presenting solutions
  • Empathizing with and addressing the pain points of your ideal clients
  • Establishing trust with new visitors by showcasing your track record of success with other clients

People buy from people they like. They choose estate planning attorneys that they feel they can trust and that “get” them. If your website can show your ideal clients that you really understand their problems and can help them accomplish their goals, you’ll drive more ideal clients to your firm. It should be obvious at every turn and on every page of your website.

You have to break away from the generic, ego-driven websites that flood the industry and choose to foster genuine connections with the clients, contacts, and referral sources that are vital to your business!

Strategic Website Designs Put the Priority on Your Ideal Clients in Every Detail

How can a website design show that you care about your perfect clients and can solve their problems? How can your website speak to what they’re really seeking? You have to pay attention to all the design details that demonstrate your care for their experience:

  • Clear contact information. Your website should display your firm name, phone number, address, and other contact details prominently. You want to make it as easy as possible for your ideal clients to find the basic information they need and reach out to you when they need help. The same goes for your contact forms—make sure that they’re easy to see and working correctly, and don’t overwhelm your visitors by asking for too much information upfront.
  • Device responsiveness. You want your website to deliver an excellent experience across all kinds of different devices and browsers. Failing to do so is a surefire way to design for failure. It’s a simple expectation, and you don’t want to drive away a great lead just because they used a smartphone instead of a laptop!
  • Intuitive navigation. Don’t force visitors to hunt around your website for the answers they seek. If they’re confused about where to click or what to do, the vast majority are going to simply click away and try again on a competitor’s site. They’ve found you through a search because they have a burning question, and you have to immediately show them a clear path to the information they need.
  • Your “unique selling proposition.” Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your website. Most estate planning attorneys stick to generic “lawyer tropes” on their websites—gavel images, photos in front of a bookshelf, “Scales of Justice” images, tough poses with crossed arms, etc. The problem is that all these websites end up looking the same, and that tactic doesn’t build trust or connections with your ideal clients. It doesn’t really communicate who you are or what you do! So, lean into more personalized photos. Incorporate helpful videos featuring you and your staff. Find ways to tell your story and create a welcoming atmosphere for your ideal clients. You can also leverage your bio, testimonials, and office pages to build trust and provide insights into what clients can expect when working with you.

This is hardly an exhaustive list, but it’s these kinds of details that come together to create a perfect user experience on your website. And used strategically, with your ideal client’s needs firmly in your mind, those smart details are what will turn your website into a real tool for connection and lead generation.

Wondering if your website is working as hard as it should for your estate planning law firm? Thinking about starting fresh with a new design? If so, I invite you to join my team for a complimentary website design consultation, where we can talk about your ideas and start sketching out a strategy for success. Alternatively, you can reach us at 888.886.0939 with any questions you have about attracting great leads and converting more ideal clients for your firm.


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Since 1998, Foster Web Marketing has provided boutique website design and digital marketing services to lawyers, doctors, and other professionals across the U.S. and around the world. We use our in-house website design, content writing, search engine optimization, and coaching teams to strategize more effective marketing plans for our clients. We also provide powerful marketing software that supports businesses in attracting their “perfect clients” and achieving consistent success online.

Foster Web Marketing is the current web designer of nationally renowned estate planning attorney and Ultimate Estate Planner’s President, Philip Kavesh’s, law firm’s website.  Take a look at

For more information about Foster Web Marketing and to get a free website analysis, click here.



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