April 2020
Lawyers With Purpose Insights

In This Issue

The Time for Adjustment is Ending; It's Time Now to Anchor to Your Client Enrollment and RMS Processes!

LWP's Recent Software Enhancements

Upcoming Events & Materials

Businessman using headseat while on a conference call with a client

The Time for Adjustment is Ending;
It's Time Now to Anchor to Your Client Enrollment and RMS Processes!

A couple of weeks ago, I met with LWP member attorney and trainer, Tim Crisafulli. We had a great coaching call, and during it, we were discussing how he has made different adjustments to technology because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, he found a document camera that allowed him to share the documents he had in front of him with clients on his computer screen. He shared that he had completed his virtual workshop through Zoom, and he had done some of his first virtual and drive-through style signing meetings. He was making the adjustments necessary for his firm to support clients while maintaining social distancing, stay at home orders, and his essential business. When we looked at his key performance indicators (KPIs), we noticed a decline in some of his numbers and results. He had taken steps away from certain parts of the process in order to adjust to the technology, but he said, "The time for adjustment is over, and it's time I return to the process," meaning it was time for him to again focus on the process as a whole.

It's Not Time to Cancel Workshops: It's time to have virtual workshops and to have the education step of the process. Virtual workshops provide additional options: Tim could offer clients the opportunity to attend his next virtual workshop, or he could now offer them a link to a recorded workshop they could view before their Vision Meeting, and he was able to schedule their meeting right then and there. COVID-19 and social distancing provided him a new alternative that was consistent with his original process.

Remember, it is key to follow the process of the workshop. Tell your purpose story as it is your way to create that relationship, even over Zoom. Still make your 3 promises and set the expectation of evaluations, even though you're using a slightly different delivery. You have different options to provide an evaluation; we mentioned using a passcode to put on the evaluation to receive a complimentary meeting and to increase the chances of receiving an evaluation. The evaluation provides critical data to analyze the results of the workshop and to measure key performance indicators. Some members are having their client services coordinator call and conduct the evaluation while enrolling them in scheduling their complimentary Vision Meeting. I have heard results of higher conversion rates through virtual workshops and higher average fees when clients have a better understanding and knowledge of the issues. Workshops are just as important to the process now as they have ever been!

Stay Comfortable with Your Vision Meeting: With the use of his document camera, Tim was able to conduct virtual Vision Meetings, just as if his clients were in the room. While Tim used a document camera, others have used tablets or electronic forms friendly to computer use. The key is that the attorneys found a way to deliver their Vision Meetings in a format that comes as close as possible to the experience clients would have if they came to the office. Tim could draw the same pictures or demonstrate the same visuals, and his comfort level reviewing the materials was as high through Zoom as it was when he reviewed the materials in person. He was able to review his clients' personal and financial information to provide proper counseling, identify his clients' needs, and enter them onto his Client Goal Focuser™. He was able to use the Estate Plan Audit™ to help clients see the issues that were most important to them, and he was able to use the Vision Clarifier™ to demonstrate the planning options. None of the process needed to change.

When the clients have chosen the plan that best meets their needs, you can even do the engagement agreement through technology, having a secured document signing electronically to avoid mailing agreements and the time it takes for all the follow-up. You're still able to review the agreement, determine payment, and schedule the Design Meeting.

Connect With Your Relationships: It's time to reach out to your professional relationships and to look for new relationships with whom to connect. People are more open-minded at this time because as things are changing daily, there is no "normal." Let people know what you are doing; let them know you are still available to support them. Don't make everything about a check; make it about the relationship and be willing to help and provide them assistance.

The questions on the Synergy interview still work! The process and their homework remain the same. Have them attend a virtual workshop, or provide them a link and have them return an asset protection or benefits eligibility form. Maybe you can assist them with their planning or lack of planning. The key is to identify if you both see potential value in working together, and you can accomplish that in a virtual meeting.

For the people with whom you have had Synergy Meetings, now is the time to find a strategy to implement so you can work together. It's time to look at new strategies with the adjustments we have made with COVID-19 and the use of technology. Could you be doing Q & A's through Facebook Live, something that may not have been considered in the past? Could you be having virtual private workshops? What strategies would be relevant? Remember, the Secure Act is still important as well, even though COVID-19 has taken priority; it is important to follow up with your relationships to ensure their clients' estate plans are not affected by the Secure Act. Is there something else that you can offer of value? Estate planning might be a box that they wanted their clients to have checked off but was not a priority, where today planning is becoming a higher priority. Now could be the right time for them to work together with you. Don't assume they won't. Return to the process and let it work for you.

Keep the Lights On: Some firms are experiencing higher sales; some are just getting by. There is a great need for estate planning. Like I have heard many say, "If not now, when?" In this time, if someone is not triggered to look at their estate plan, when would be the right time for them? Let's help those who need our help and support those who need our support. LWP member attorney Andrew Jaloza did a very thoughtful thing and offered free health care proxies and power of attorneys to first responders, those on the front lines. I thought that was a great way to show his community that he cared. It may generate additional business, but his heart was firmly in the place of giving back first!

As we are all in this together, I hope that we, as LWP membership, continue to grow as a community, having everyone sharing and supporting one another on our daily calls, our Listserv, and just being there for one another. Dave had indicated during his keynote address at TAPER Orlando that technology would have a huge impact going from 2020 to 2030, but more than technology alone, he also spoke about community and relationship, and that is the key for us to maintain our success. We must have the balance of relationship, community, and technology moving forward, and, of course, don't forget to FDS!

LWP's Recent Software Enhancements

Business woman holding a pen and looking over paperwork

It is that time of the year again! We have made updates and enhancements to our already sophisticated estate planning and elder law software. Here is a more detailed look at what you can expect with this software release.

Updates to the Personal Care Plan

We have changed the term "books on tape" to "audiobooks" due to the change in technology. We have also cleaned up the formatting of the signature line, so it is now in alignment on the left, with the notary signature.

Agent Acceptance Fixed in Disposition of Remains Document

Previously, the software was only providing a signature line for the initial agent, leaving the potential for Successor Agents to have nowhere to sign. Now, all agents, including named Successor Agents, properly have a signature line so whoever the acting party is may properly sign the acceptance of appointment section upon the death of the creator.

Two Typo Fixes

In the "Beneficiary's Spouse's Rights" section in our Wills and Trusts, we properly updated the sentence to read "no spouse…has" instead of "no spouse…have". We have also removed some unnecessary commas that were showing up in our "Trustee Delegation" section, so that will read more clearly.

Updated Fax Default Rules

If you do not have a fax number, or if one is not entered in your "Defaults" section, there will no longer be asterisks showing up on the cover page of your documents. Previously, if no fax number was entered, the software treated this as an unanswered question. Now, if you do not have a fax number or do not want it on your documents, simply leave that section blank in your defaults, and it will not show up on the cover page.

More Options for Specific Bequests

Now you may direct a specific bequest to be distributed upon the death of the second Grantor in a base trust. This logic was already implemented in our enhanced plans, but was not an option in joint, base trusts. Simply select "upon death of spouse" in the specific bequest interview section, so the bequest will not be distributed until both Grantors of the joint trust are deceased.

Additionally, in our Enhanced Will and Enhanced Trusts, there is now the option to leave a specific bequest in a Supplemental Needs Trust (instead of outright or in a Separate Share Trust). This enhancement allows distributions in a Supplemental Needs Trust to those beneficiaries who may need it, and are not a residuary beneficiary.

Changes to the Stand-by Disability Trust

You will notice the stand-by disability trust article is now titled "Disabled or Chronically Ill Beneficiaries" to better reflect the term created under the new SECURE Act. We also added language from our standalone Supplemental Needs Trusts to this Article for a more thorough trust administration section.

Common/Family Trust Update to Match the Template

When selecting a Family Trust, the interview screen asks which asset(s) should be funded to the Family Trust upon the death of the first Grantor. We have added options for "real property" and "other" (matching the specific bequest options), so you can now better describe what exactly will be contained in that Family Trust. The design template had these options already listed, but the interview did not have that selection, leading many drafters to have to make post-generation edits.

SECURE Act Changes

Our most extensive changes with this software release are those made due to the recent passing of the SECURE Act. There will be webinars and trainings on these changes.

Here are some of the things you can expect:

  • Added the definition for "eligible designated beneficiaries" which is a new class who may operate under different rules than other designated beneficiaries, and removed reference to "stretch-out retirement beneficiaries"
  • The Family Trust now differentiates between retirement and non-retirement assets and how those will be distributed to the spouse versus other beneficiaries
  • Added a section specific to administration of retirement assets under Separate Share Trusts in the residuary, under-stated-age and disabled beneficiaries articles, clarifying the different rules for all eligible designated beneficiaries
  • Added language throughout the trust to include the new ten-year withdraw rules
  • Made more accurate reference to Retirement Plan, Retirement Account and Retirement Asset throughout the trust

Updates to the TAP Trust and the CGT

This update matches a change we made to our enhanced trusts in a previous release. Upon the death of a residuary beneficiary, the drafter has the option to leave the remainder to the Grantor's children (instead of only to the beneficiary's children, a charity, other named individuals, or to the other residuary beneficiaries). Again, this change was already implemented in our enhanced plans, and we are now adding it to the TAP Trust and CGT to more closely match those interviews.

State Specific Changes

  • ALASKA – updated/created specific notary blocks for Alaska documents to reflect the term "Judicial District" instead of "County"
  • DELAWARE – we have fixed a typo in the Power of Attorney changing "Agentt" to "Agent"
  • FLORIDA – we have updated the notary block requirements due to the January 1, 2020 change allowing for online notarization. We have also added language in the Florida Power of Attorney, when co-agents are acting jointly, to allow said agents to delegate the power to conduct banking transactions to either agent independently (per Sections 709.2111 and 709.2208(1) of the Florida Statutes).
  • MICHIGAN – we removed some computer language that was showing up on the last page of the power of attorney; no substantive changes
  • OHIO – in the power of attorney, when no successor agent is named, the document will no longer insert the blank "Successor Agent" section.
  • NEW YORK – we have corrected the typo in the second paragraph of the New York State specific power of attorney from "agents" to "agent's"

Updates to the MedQual Interview

The only thing we changed in the Medicaid Qualification interview is the logic to include RMDs in the income calculation starting at age 72, instead of 70.5. This change was brought about by the new SECURE Act changes, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. Remember, individuals who attained age 70.5 prior to the end of 2019 (those individuals born on or before June 30, 1949) are subject to the old rule, and need to take their RMDs according to the old rules. Anyone born on July 1, 1949 or later will not have to begin drawing their RMDs until they reach age 72.

VA Enhancements

We have added the following forms to the software:

  • VA-10182 (Board Appeal)
  • VA 20-0995 (Supplemental Claim)
  • VA 20-0996 (Higher Level Review)

We have also updated the VA Appeal interview per the new appeal process. Don't worry, you will still have access to the old legacy appeal forms, as you may need those for any outstanding/existing legacy appeals you have pending. We also updated the qualification worksheet to include the updated 2020 numbers.

Software Update Support

As always, if you have any questions or issues updating your software, we are willing and able to help you. Simply submit your support request by clicking the "Support" button on the member website or via our LWP Help Desk website directly at LawyersWithPurpose.zendesk.com.

Upcoming Events & Materials

LWP's Secure Act Planning Strategy and
First-Look at the LWPCCS Enhancements

Business woman holding a pen and looking over paperwork

Please join us on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 from 2pm – 5pm EST for this training, hosted by Dave Zumpano and Amanda Smith. Together, Dave and Amanda will be reviewing a multitude of changes incorporated in the LWPCCS software release, including those that were made due to the recent passing of the SECURE Act. For more information about the LWPCCS software update, please see Amanda Smith's article, LWP's Recent Software Enhancements, in this edition of the newsletter.

COVID-19 Practice Essentials

We have a number of tools available to help your firm during the pandemic.

Dave Zumpano's Video: Running an Efficient, Proficient, and Profitable Firm During the Pandemic

Lisa Roser's Video: Marketing Your Firm During the Pandemic

Dave Zumpano's Video: Medicaid Planning Opportunities During the Crisis

Get COVID-19 Practice Essentials Now

COVID-19 Daily Check-ins:

We are offering daily check-ins at 12 Noon EST Monday - Friday during which you can join us for Q/A and support from not just the LWP team, but from the LWP community that shares many of the same issues and concerns that your firm is facing right now.

The link to our recurring 12PM EST "check in" Zoom meetings is https://zoom.us/j/586217608. Seating is limited.

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