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Foley, Foley & Pearson News

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Keeping it Simple

"Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.  But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."  -Steve Jobs

            One of the most common comments we hear from clients is, "Why does it have to be so complicated?  My estate is simple."  The prevailing presumption is that it is the nature of lawyers to make things more complicated than necessary and in many instances, the clients are probably right.

            As the above quote from Steve Jobs indicates, it takes more work to keep things simple.  The easiest path is not usually the path of least resistance.  But Foley & Foley makes it a practice of making the extra effort to try and keep things simple for our clients.  Some of these extra efforts include:   

            Education.  We spend a great deal of time counseling and educating clients through our workshops and in our personal client conferences.  When clients have a basic understanding of the law and the issues that will be faced by heirs upon the death of a loved one, the estate planning process doesn't seem quite so complicated.

            A Step by Step Process.  Foley & Foley follows a simple process for assisting clients as they implement their estate plan.  The process is thorough, systematic and understandable, which means that details do not fall between the cracks.  Every client goes through the same five steps: 1) Intake appointment, 2) design appointment, 3) delivery appointment, 4) funding appointment, and 5) updating and maintenance.

            Internal Systems.  Foley & Foley has implemented internal systems and procedures that ensure that the plans and legal solutions are quickly and reasonably implemented.  These systems also ensure that every member of the estate planning team, from the receptionist to legal assistant, paralegal and lawyer, remains in the loop and understands the current status of each plan.

            Technology.  Foley & Foley keeps up to date of the latest hardware and software technology available to assure that we can:

  • Communicate efficiently and effectively with our clients as well as other lawyers and advisors.
  • Efficiently create and edit sophisticated legal documents.
  • Organize, archive and retrieve physical and electronic documents.
  • Research and educate ourselves and our clients about changes in the law.
  • Maintain, update and respond to changes in our clients' situations.

            Simple Legal Solutions.  The attorneys and staff are constantly looking for the simplest and most effective legal solutions to the particular problems faced by our clients.  Because we have worked with hundreds of estate planning clients, we have the experience necessary to suggest ways to keep things simple. 

            Fixed Fees.  We try to utilize fixed fees whenever possible to reduce the stress of not knowing what the plan is going to cost.  When fees are fixed and not hourly, everyone, including the lawyers, have incentive to keep it simple.

 


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