Modern Wills is an estate planning practice in Alberta Canada, with a focus on estate planning packages (Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, and Personal Directives). They are on a mission to modernise estate planning, and are not scared of advances in technology - they are excited by them, as it allows them to spend significantly more time connecting with their clients one-on-one, while providing lawyer-drafted documents at reasonable flat rates.
Meeting Britta Graversen - Owner of Modern Wills
My name is Britta and I'm an estate planning lawyer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I have my own practice. I started this practice about three years ago now with the thought that there's all this technology out there that can make us more efficient and allow us to actually spend more time one-on-one with clients while getting a pretty detailed final product together. Anything that can be done by technology should be done by technology, and then an assistant, and then a lawyer ideally, so that we can spend as much time connecting directly with clients as possible.
Anything that can be done by technology should be done by technology
Before you started using BePrepared, how did you handle clients' files, documents and digital assets at Modern Wills?
As far as handling client digital assets, we didn't have anything to do with that. We would keep digital copies of their documents on record and we would provide those to them to store. But as far as their own storage of their own digital assets and passwords and all those types of things, that was resting fully with our clients.
Since implementing BePrepared, how has that changed?
So, the way that it's changed is we've added on BePrepared as an additional option that's included in the all-in flat rate that our clients are paying. It's so great now to have an option to be able to offer our clients. Something that can serve them a little bit better. Clients are really enjoying the idea. There's nothing really else out there.
Clients are really enjoying the idea. There's nothing really else out there.
They could find some secure online storage on their own...they would have to do their research to find something that they think is appropriate....But then what? They can just share the data instantly. A lot of this they wouldn't want to be shared until after death or they would only want it to be shared in the event of death. We have it automated in our system. So if we, in our CRM, select "yes, they want an account", it automatically creates one for them. And then when we scan everything in, we put their wills, powers of attorneys, and health directives in their portal.
And it takes maybe a minute of our time and then they have access to that. They can use it to store whatever they'd like. So yeah, it's starting to really integrate into our process quite well.
What are your clients saying of the Modern Wills vault? What is their experience with it so far?
I'm so glad you mentioned it because this is a huge problem and my loved ones would have no way to access things
Excellent feedback, especially from people that are really finding a use for it and have been looking for something like that. And even a lot of really good feedback from people who say, "Oh my gosh, I never thought of that. I'm so glad you mentioned it because this is a huge problem and my loved ones would have no way to access things." And they're really excited about the idea of having that kind of covered off. Because when you go to a lawyer to get these documents in place, a lot of people think, "Okay, that's really it now. I'm protected." And then to send them some paperwork when you're done that says, "Okay, but we didn't do X, Y, and Z or we're not responsible for A, B, and C." At least now we have an option that we can offer to people that does cover a lot of the stuff that was left up in the air for them to take care of on their own previously.
I've had a client who works in data security who asked a lot of questions, read the more detailed information about how the data is held. I think a lot of people don't really review in the level of detail that they did. And then he was asking me some follow-up questions. And I just thought it was interesting because he made the same, had the same thought as me, which is that it's not every company is going to say our data is secure. But it's more about like a connection with why the company was set up. And so he asked me specifically what the story was behind "be prepared". And hopefully, it's okay, but I shared with him what you had shared with me. And he said, "Amazing. I love that. That's exactly what I want to hear as to why someone started a company. I really trust that and we're absolutely going to use it."
What has Modern Wills experience with BePrepared been?
I thought it was very smooth. I thought you were very helpful. It was very one-on-one, customised to how my data is stored and how we can securely get that set up and how I wanted to approach existing client files versus files on a go-forward basis. I felt like it was really tailored to my specific practice and it really made things easy for me. Yeah, and I will say that's honestly given me a lot of comfort so far through working with BePrepared.
If ever something doesn't work out or I ever have a question, you always get back to me so fast. That makes me feel like, okay, if anything does happen, I know that I'll be responded to right away and it'll get dealt with very quickly, even if we're in very opposite time zones. I don't know how you do it.
If ever something doesn't work out or I ever have a question, you always get back to me so fast.
Since implementing BePrepared, what benefits have you seen for "Modern Wills"?
It really sets us apart from the other options out there.
The biggest benefit is integrating it into our process and having it as a streamlined part of our process that really sets us apart from the other options out there. We had a lot of software in place already and this just filled a gap. It's really worked out really well. I do like the idea that people can enter in their personal representatives or executors or loved ones and then we can connect with them directly. But that's not the biggest benefit to me. The biggest benefit to me is being able to offer this service at no additional charge at a quite reasonable rate and build it into our packages so that I feel like our services really live up to the name "Modern Wills" as I would want them to.
How many leads have you got so far?
We've had seven enter into our follow-up nurture sequence. And I think it's more just like I said, that's lovely. Oftentimes people will want to connect you with their sister or their children or whoever they've appointed and then life is busy and they don't do it. In this way, they don't have to. We are already saying, "Hey, we're here if you need us." But that's not the main benefit. The main benefit to me is just offering that service in general.
What type of estate planners do you think should use "be prepared"?
I was going to say everyone, and then I feel like that's not really a specific enough answer. I do think that most clients, like I've had clients in their 80s be super excited about this option. It's not an age-specific thing. There are people in their late 30s that struggle with technology and people in their 80s that are like, "Wow, this is great." So, I don't think it's fair to group it with age. But I think that any planner who's trying to really give a more holistic look at, "I'm creating these legal documents for you. I want to be able to serve your needs appropriately and do everything that I can to make sure that you're covered from a legal perspective." And also, you have the tools available to you to do the things that you really do need to take on on your own. Most things are digital, not just bank accounts and tax preparation software but what if you have some intellectual property that they emailed you the proof of? It's just so much more than people realize. And I think so, to have an option directly integrated into our program labeled like the "Modern Wills Vault" from a trusted company that we have a good relationship with, but also where we're not as a business responsible for the data security.
Let's say there was a firm that was teetering on the edge. They're like, "Should we use 'be prepared' or not?" They're trying to make a decision. What would you say to them?
I would say give it a chance and see how your clients respond. And I anticipate that it would be positive. I mean, not every single client is going to see the need for it, but the ones that do are so appreciative, I've found so far, to have this option.