One of the largest and most respected attorney organizations in the country is called WealthCounsel. They just released their Third Annual Survey of Industry Trends and there were some results that I thought you might be interested in hearing about. Since this group is exclusively “by attorneys” and “for attorneys,” it isn’t very often the general public gets to see our inside information. Let’s take a peak…
While many businesses are down, 40% of the attorney’s said their business had increased – at least in the estate planning area. Why? More people were focused on updating and getting some plans in place to hold onto more of what they had after many had lost a bundle due to the economic crisis. This was not only good for the attorneys but was very good for their clients to get an update and better plans in place. (Especially true in California where we got four new statutes in 2009 alone that affect every estate plan.)
The survey asked attorneys what is the number one reason why people plan – make your guess now. <drum roll> The number one reason was to avoid probate and minimize estate taxes. Probate starts at 8% of the gross estate and estate taxes may reach as high as 55% of the net estate. It’s no wonder they’re planning. Another major factor that motivates people to do their planning is to avoid the answer to the question, “What would happen if they don’t plan?” Most attorneys expect to see an increase in activity as the population of baby-boomers starts aging – which has already begun.
Wachbrit Braverman PC is well positioned to serve this baby-boomer population because of our strengths in asset protection planning for next generation and in special needs planning, two key motivators. And when we started the firm, we worked with many young families who are older families now (yes, it’s been over 10 years!) so we’re very familiar with many of the issues boomers are facing.
I have the privilege of being part of this wonderful group of attorneys where I get to share ideas and insights to help my clients from San Diego to San Jose. I have been a part of Wealth Counsel for eight years, and each year brings more great ideas than the previous one. I feel honored to be a part of such a wonderful group of attorneys and am proud to call them my friends.