I was happy with the way my estate planning business was going and then the pandemic hit! At first, I still met with clients either at my home office or at the client’s residence. We all wore masks and gloves. It felt awkward but I certainly didn’t want to risk anyone’s health. As time went on we all learned more about the novel coronavirus. Given the uncertainty of the effects of COVID-19 on health, both long and short term, I decided to implement the safest business policy for myself and my clients, even if it caused me to lose business. I decided to just stop all in-person meetings.
It wasn’t long before the courts and many businesses, including law offices, closed. However, because my business involves estate planning, my workload has increased. Initially I rushed to learn about Zoom, got it all set up and started using it. Zoom was OK, but there was the occasional technical issue and many of my elderly clients didn’t know how to use it. Seeing the client on Zoom really didn't enhance the effectiveness of the meeting, so after giving it some thought, I decided to just go back to the old-fashioned phone interview with my clients. That was so much better -- no one had to worry about how they looked, how their background looked, or worry about possible technical issues.
Because I have been working from home for nearly 20 years, working from home was not a transition for me. The challenge was figuring out the best way to get the paperwork back and forth between myself and my clients. Thank God for our modern technology. Almost everyone has a computer or “smart phone” whereby we can share documents and take advantage of programs for remote document signing and even remote notarizations. Of course, for those without a computer or smartphone there is the good old postal service.
Someone asked me if I will go back to seeing clients in person after the pandemic is over. I am not sure. On the one hand it was more personable and enjoyable to actually put a face to a name. On the other hand, no one has to travel, and scheduling “meetings” is more flexible. But for now, I’m loving working in my most comfortable clothes and using technology to the fullest. I am thankful to be able to work from home as efficiently as before the pandemic and to have plenty of work to do!
© 2022 by Marlene S. Cooper. All rights reserved.
(You may obtain further information at the website www.marlenecooperlaw.com, by e-mail at MarleneCooperLaw@gmail.com, by phone at (626) 791-7530 or toll free at (866) 702-7600. The information in this article is of a general nature and not intended as legal advice. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this article).