The Top 6 Reasons You Should Be Giving Seminars

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law For estate planning attorneys, all of the technical and legal education in the world is great, but if you are not able to bring in prospective clients to plan for, there is no way for you to be able to successfully run your own estate planning practice.  If you regularly receive referrals from other sources, such as financial advisors, CPAs, life insurance agents or other attorneys, that’s great.  However, what happens if those referrals stop?  How consistent and predictable…

Q&A with Phil: Quoting Fees, Charging for Initial Meetings & Having Paralegals Conduct Signing Meetings

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that I frequently get the same questions from people and I thought that it’d be helpful to share some of these questions and answers with others in our newsletter.  (If you have any questions, either as follow-up to these below or otherwise pertaining to your practice, feel free to send me an e-mail and I’d be happy to help and perhaps feature the Q&A in a future newsletter). QUOTING FEES ON THE…

The Top 8 Mistakes Estate Planning Attorneys Make When Buying or Selling a Practice

Download Printable Article By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law If you’re an estate planning attorney, like it or not, you will exit the practice of law someday. And I’m sure if you’ve already built a good practice, you would like to see a smooth, professional transition of your clients when the time comes, as well as maximize the financial return for all of your many years of hard work. If you’re an estate planning attorney who is still building your practice, you are probably looking…

Reduce Your Number of No-Shows and Cancellations with a Proper Confirmation Process

By Kristina Schneider Having worked with numerous estate planning professionals over the years, one of the issues that a lot of people have struggled with are appointment and seminar no-shows and cancellations.  One of my first questions is always, “What does your confirmation process look like?” For some, they don’t have any process in place at all.  For others, they have a mixture of an e-mail that is sent or a phone call the day before.  While something is better than nothing, there is always room for improvement to help reduce the number of no-shows and cancellations. Here’s the confirmation…

How to Use Bonuses to Incentivize Your Staff

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In this newsletter article, I talked about how to use bonuses to incentivize your associate attorneys.  In this article, I will address how to also incentivize your support staff. The principles are basically the same, but there are a few important items that are tweaked for support staff.  First and foremost, non-attorney staff members cannot receive some percentage or share of firm revenue or profit.  Virtually every State Bar’s Professional Ethics Rules (or state’s Business and Professions Codes) prohibit this. …

Blow Up Your Annual Client Maintenance Program!

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law In this article, I addressed the marketplace issues confronting estate planning attorneys, in particular commoditization of our “products” and increasing low price competition.  One of the ways that I discussed to combat these issues is to emphasize how your “product” is better than your competitors’.  Another way to differentiate yourself is to emphasize your “service after the sale.”  When someone purchases a car, he or she wants to know what kind of service or maintenance program is available and what…

Generate More Revenue This Year with More Referrals from Clients

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law If you’ve read my previous newsletter articles or attended any of my teleconferences (or our Ultimate Level event), you know that I am a huge proponent of utilizing time-tested systems to run a successful practice – – from marketing to receptionist scripts, to initial client meetings, to generating trust documents, to signing meetings, and regular client follow-ups…FOR EVERYTHING. Yet, even those who do systematize virtually all of their practice often fail to have a system for generating new client…

Do You Know What You Are Doing?

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law It’s a bit curious how you can vividly recall just a few, brief occurrences in your life that have had an unexpected but profound and long lasting effect on you. I remember one day speaking with a businessman on a plane about what I do as an estate planning attorney and he asked, “What’s your customer service process?” I was immediately taken aback because I hadn’t thought of what I did with clients as a process, nor could I…

Do You Hate Marketing?

By Kristina Schneider When it comes to the idea of marketing, most lawyers cringe. For many lawyers, marketing seems tacky, unprofessional, and perhaps even “beneath” them.  They didn’t study for countless hours and pay thousands of dollars to get all those degrees and credentials behind their name to then be bothered with the idea of marketing. But, here’s the reality.  If you run your own practice, you are a business owner.  And, if you’re a business owner, marketing is essential to the success and, frankly, the survival of your practice. Marketing your business doesn’t mean you have to go out and…

Six Big Mistakes When Choosing an Associate Attorney

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Although attorneys are trained in the technical aspects of the law, we haven’t been taught how to run a successful business, often relying upon trial and error as costly teachers. In the process of building my own practice, I have made each and every one of the following mistakes when hiring associate attorneys, so I am speaking to you from experience. Mistake #1: Focusing mainly on the associate’s law school, credentials, experience and technical expertise. As educated and experienced…