7 Steps to Creating an Estate Plan For Life

estate plan

Many people fail to create an estate plan because they don’t truly understand what is involved and therefore believe it is too complicated. But the real truth is that creating an estate plan during your lifetime is far less complicated (and less expensive) than what your family will deal with after you are gone, if you don’t:

1. Create a Trust. When most people think of preparing for the end of life, they think of writing a Will. But having a Will without a Trust is a fast track to putting your family in the Courthouse after you’re gone. Instead, to keep your family out of Court, you’ll want to set up a Trust and title all of your assets to be owned by that Trust. While it might feel like a lot of effort up front, it will save your family a LOT of trouble after you’re gone, and it only takes a couple of days to gather the necessary statements and financial information. Plus, a lot of my clients have stated that putting all their financial information in once place that was easily accessible was something that had been on their “to-do list” anyways!

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Legal Cartoon

Compliments of Mark Anderson of Andertoons

How to Place a Bid on Legal Bistro

Bid-for-Placement: what does it mean? Why do we need it?

A bid is a sum of money that a lawyer offers for the opportunity of talking to a client, to receive his contact information and discuss his case (the minimum amount you can bid on is 6 law dollars).

It’s important to remember that a lawyer’s bid on a case determines where in the list of competing, “bidding” lawyers their profile will be displayed to the clients, who posted the case. The profile with the highest bid will be displayed first and the lowest, respectively, the last.

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Writing an Effective Biography on Legal Bistro Helps Attorneys Get New Clients!

Why should a lawyer bother to write an outstanding biography and why is it the most important part of the lawyer profile? It’s so simple!

A bio is a snapshot of a lawyer’s professional experience:

  • who they are,

  • what they do,

  • specialist expertise and

  • examples of client work.

A good biography “sells” their expertise to potential new clients.

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Legal Bistro Elevator Pitch for Lawyers

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An “Elevator Pitch”, also known as an elevator speech or statement, is a short summary used to quickly define a person, product, profession or organization and its Value Proposition.  The name “elevator pitch” conveys that the person who is delivering the message has about the same time that it takes the typical elevator to go from the ground floor the top floor to convince their audience about their proposal.  A well designed elevator pitch should be between 30 and 60 seconds.

How to Write a Good Elevator Pitch

The “Elevator Pitch” on Legal Bistro is five lines (500 words maximum) of text that are displayed to potential clients in what we call the “Short Profile Preview”.  This is the very first thing that a potential client will see about you and your law firm so you should give a lot of thought to what you would like to say.

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Why Consumers Love Legal Bistro

 Do you need a lawyer but are intimidated by the legal process?  Are you concerned that professional legal services may be financially out of reach?  Perhaps English is not your native language and you are having trouble finding a qualified attorney with whom you can effectively communicate.  Don’t worry, if you answered yes to any of these questions you are not alone.

We built Legal Bistro because we were inspired by the contribution that Lending Tree made to the process for finding a mortgage lender.  Lending Tree used the power of the Internet to bring online competition in the mortgage application process. Equally important is that Lending Tree’s website has helped consumers to better understand the process of applying for a home loan. We hope that Legal Bistro can achieve similar results in the legal services market.

When Lawyers Compete, You Win!

The single biggest reason why consumers love our service is because Legal Bistro facilitates lawyers competing online to serve the client.  Our Company motto is that When Lawyers Compete, the Client Wins! Frankly, we believe that both lawyers and consumers win when the competitive playing field has been leveled.

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Why Lawyers Love Legal Bistro

    

Are you happy with the current Return on Investment (“ROI”) for your online legal services marketing dollars?  Are you spending too much of your time qualifying leads? wasting time imagesDo you know anything about the visitors to your law firm’s website besides their IP Address and the date and time of their visit?  More specifically, are you being provided with case specific  facts that will help you evaluate their legal needs?

If you have answered yes to some or all of these questions then perhaps you will appreciate why lawyers love Legal Bistro.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL

You decide what cases you see based on the Practice Groups, Case Types and Tag or Key Words used when defining your Areas of Practice.

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Access to Family Member’s Facebook Account after They Pass Away

What exactly happens when a holder of Facebook account dies and the people who knew him or her well, such as family members, want to get access to their account?

According to a recently posted broadcast at Lawyers.com the host Matt Plessner interviews Editor in Chief Larry Bodine whether it is possible to gain access to a family member’s Facebook, Twitter or Flickr account after the person died.

Currently there are 1 billion Facebook accounts, 100 million Twitter accounts and 200 million LinkedIn accounts. And the people who have lost a member of their family are surprised when no access will be given as they contact a social media company!?

How Good are the “Self Help” Legal Websites? Consumer Report Verdict

In a September Report issued by Consumer Reports entitled Legal DIY websites are no match for a pro, the verdict was that unless your legal needs are very simple it would be best to consult a lawyer as doing it yourself can lead to “unintended consequences”.  Consumer Reports evaluated the three big Do It Yourself Legal Websites – LegalZoom, Nolo, and Rocket Lawyer to create a will, a car bill of sale for a seller, a home lease for a small landlord, and a promissory note.

Three law professors—Gerry W. Beyer of Texas Tech University School of Law, who specializes in estates and trusts; Richard K. Neumann of Hofstra University, a contract specialist; and Norman Silber, an expert in consumer and commercial law at Hofstra and Yale—to review in a blind test the processes and resulting documents.

Bottom line. The sites offer basic legal advice that might help save you money spent on a lawyer. If you use them for document prep, at minimum get all needed signatures to preserve your rights and prevent disputes, Silber says. But many consumers are better off consulting a lawyer. The websites let you search for one and provide such information as education, background, and licenses.