4 Signs You're Not Ready for EstateWorks — Yet

A pair of Nike Vaporfly shoes won’t turn you into a competitive marathon runner if you’re not in good physical condition.

Similarly, EstateWorks can’t magically resolve workflow issues at a trusts and estates practice that has serious underlying dysfunction or lacks essential resources. So, while it might seem counterintuitive, we recommend that you not attempt to implement our solution if your firm faces any of the four major obstacles outlined below.

Until you address these issues, trying to use EstateWorks would be a frustrating experience for all of us!

1)  Lack of Trust and Estates Expertise

Our specialty is workflow — getting things done — within our targeted field of trusts and estates work. We provide a tool that enables experts in the field to be more productive and efficient in applying their specialist knowledge. It won’t provide that specialist knowledge. So, if you are thinking of doing some estate settlement or planning on the side and want to take a crash course in the inner workings of this complex field, EstateWorks is not a good fit. Lack of specialized legal expertise is not one of the problems we address.

2)  Low Case Complexity and/or Volume

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for determining the workflow threshold that would trigger the need for EstateWorks. One firm made great use of EstateWorks for a single case, for example, but that case involved significant financial complexity and posed major collaborative challenges with an associated family office. If your firm handles mostly self-contained, repeatable cases or if your volume is low enough that tracking deadlines is not a challenge then you probably don’t need EstateWorks. It’s like the difference between a real estate agent who sells a handful of houses each year and one who sells commercial property along with residential and also handles rentals and property management. The latter would be much more in need of a workflow system that could organize and track multiple data inputs. The same goes for EstateWorks in the trusts and estates field.

3)  Lack of Data Entry Capacity

EstateWorks needs data to deliver maximum benefits. Whether at the individual, team, or practice level, EstateWorks requires a steady stream of up-to-date data in order to work effectively. In most cases, this happens organically — entering contact details and key dates as part of the case record, for example. But if you can’t delegate the human resources to maintain these data inputs or if those human resources balk at using technology, you risk undermining the potential of EstateWorks. You might want to delay implementation until you’ve made an honest assessment of your data entry capabilities and addressed any shortcomings.

4)  Management Void

EstateWorks is a powerful tool for attaining operational efficiencies within a practice. It is not a panacea for overcoming systemic management shortcomings, however. It delivers its best results — especially at larger organizations — as part of a coherent, overarching strategy. (For more on this, see 3 Key Factors for Successful Implementation.) Before you try EstateWorks, it is important to take stock of what is keeping your trusts and estates practice from reaching its full potential. And that starts with a candid assessment of management and leadership capabilities.

The First Step in a Marathon

If your firm suffers from any of the problems outlined above, that’s not to say you could never benefit from EstateWorks. It just means you need to set yourself up for success by addressing the underlying obstacles. And recognizing this need is the first step.

The same goes for competing in a marathon. It starts with fully understanding (and respecting) the challenge. Then you have to address the practical considerations. Do you have the time to train effectively? (Being able to complete a 20-minute stroll is not a good indicator of success.) Are you eating a healthy diet? Are you sufficiently motivated to stick to effective training and the proper diet over the long term?

If you’re able to commit to all of that, then you could benefit from investing in a pair of Nike Vaporfly shoes. That’s the final step, not the first.

So, Are You Ready for EstateWorks?

We’re eager to talk with firms about the many ways that EstateWorks can help them realize their vision for their trusts and estates practice. But first we like to hear what their motivation is and gauge their level of commitment. Sometimes those discussions make it apparent that a firm isn’t yet ready to implement EstateWorks. If that’s the case, we’ll say so and offer advice on addressing any underlying issues. Because we don’t just want your business — we want your business to succeed.

If you would like to discuss whether your firm is at a point where EstateWorks can help you realize your vision of a more efficient practice, please contact us. It’s what we do.

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