Some attorneys dismiss maintenance programs out of hand because they don’t see why clients would participate in them. Don’t think like that. Maintenance programs are very appealing to clients, for two powerful reasons.
First, a maintenance program helps ensure that a client’s plan is always up-to-date and capable of accomplishing its goals when the client needs it. By explaining this benefit to your clients, many of them will quickly see the program’s value and the importance of enrolling in it.
Second, one of the main complaints people have about working with attorneys is the notion that attorneys bill for just about anything, whether it’s an email, a photocopy, or a one-minute phone call. Your clients will appreciate the fact that you will not “nickel and dime” them, and that there will be no unpleasant “surprise” invoices in their mail boxes.
By addressing these two issues, a maintenance program provides clients with peace of mind—the same long-term benefit that motivated many of them to want an estate plan in the first place.
So, what services should be included in your plan? You need to offer enough to make the program attractive to clients, but you must also be cognizant of not selling yourself short and offering too many services. We’ll discuss the particulars of an effective maintenance program next time.