We set out to build a trusts and estates firm for the 21st century. Our fundamental idea is that a great modern trusts and estates firm will combine the latest technology with the kind of expertise and client service expected from a top traditional law firm. By doing so, we can make great planning and settlement work accessible to everyone who needs it.
We don’t think there is any substitute for expertise and experience. Families putting together their estate plans deserve to work directly with an attorney who has put together hundreds of plans, and can offer solutions based on that deep experience. This experience and problem solving ability is the fundamental value that an experienced estate planning attorney offers, and has long been the strength of traditional law firms.
We’ve made tremendous investments over the years in technology and time in refining our office processes. By design, these processes happen mostly behind the scenes, but are tremendously important to the work we do.
A key to our work is our custom software applications for document creation, which ensure that client documents are produced quickly and free from errors. We’ve built and refined our task management system, built on David Allen’s GTD system, which allows us to efficiently manage multiple projects and deadlines. Our paperless office system allows us to quickly and efficiently access and search documents in files that would be multiple boxes in a traditional paper file. And we use modern practice management software, which allows us to easily track contacts, emails, and other client information.
Put together, our investments—in time and funds—in these four technologies allow us to deliver services with a level of efficiency that traditional firms just can’t touch.
A better business model
We think the major obstacle to innovation in traditional firms is the hourly billing model. By definition, a firm that bills for hours will lose revenue if it becomes more efficient. We think that’s wrong and backwards.
Our investments in process allow us to offer flat fee pricing that is predictable up front and generally less than what a traditional hourly firm would charge for a similar service. This works great for our clients, who get a great solution at a fixed (and reasonable) price point. And it works great for us, since we can invest in technology and do business the way we think it should be done.