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Member Success Story: Katie May

We are proud to bring another interview to our ElderCounsel and Office Management members from our blog series designed to share best practices, tips and tools members are using to build their elder law practices. This month I had the pleasure of interviewing Katie May, J.D., an elder law attorney with Huck Bouma, P.., one of the largest firms in the west Chicago region. 

Katie spoke about the strategies and tools she uses in building a thriving law practice. One tool that she finds particularly effective in building interest in their practice, in terms of attracting new clients and in building referral sources is a "quiz". She uses her "quiz" with community groups such as healthcare professionals and financial planners along with a lighthearted PowerPoint presentation. For fun, she provides little gifts on the table as prizes for the winner. 

The crux of the presentation is the "quiz" offering a series of basic True/False questions designed to drive home the need for estate planning. The presentation is offered in a simple and straightforward way, helping to uncover common myths people hold about death and probate. For example, one question relates to "the reading of the will" and asks if this is something that always occurs following the death of a loved one. The "reading of the will" is a common misconception found in many TV shows and this question highlights it is not something people should expect as part of the probate process.

Another question revolves around "who inherits what is in the absence of a Will." This question is helpful to help Katie address the fact that many people tend to assume their spouse or children will inherit the full amount of their money at death. This may not be the case, however, without proper planning and depending on state law.

Finally, there is a True/False question, "My kids will get along when I pass." The PowerPoint slide has a picture of two small children fighting over a toy car. As this image indicates, the assumption that one's children will act fairly and with kindness to each other following the parent's passing may not be the case.

Because of the cheerful approach, this is both an easy presentation to give as well as one that listeners can easily understand. For example, Katie's office administrator received a call first thing on the Monday morning following a weekend she gave this presentation, from a gentleman who told her, "I would like to make an appointment with Katie May because I flunked my test!" This simple tool offered a potential client all the clarity he needed to understand he needed legal planning and he needed to work with Katie as his attorney. 

While this quiz is a toll specifically focused on the Estate Planning area, it can be readily adapted to your firm's specialty practice areas including elder law and special needs planning. What is most important is the information offered in a way that is easy to understand and helps your audience recognize you as someone they can turn to when they need help with any of the issues presented. Colleagues, Cindy Tolan and Audrey Skiera have also used the presentation successfully.  

If you are interested in learning more about the "quiz" tool or want a copy of the materials, Office Management Director Audrey Ehrhardt, J.D., will be presenting with Katie May about this specific tool and how to implement it in your practice in an Office Management webinar at the start of 2015. 

We hope you have found this interview helpful and look forward to continuing to read the stories and strategies ElderCounsel and Office Management members share to support you in building the practice of your dreams. If you have any questions on how ElderCounsel and our Office Management Division can partner with you to increase your practice efficiencies- from education to document drafting software or practice development systems- please schedule a brief consultation, call us at (888) 789-9908, or email us at info@eldercounsel.com
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