Lawyer Monthly - June 2022

JUN 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM Many of our member attorneys have reported having their most profitable years of business in the last couple of years. When I ask them why they think that happened, they have told me that the pandemic forced families to think about their estate plans and also how they want to receive their end-of-life care. Elder law attorneys work with families to map out these concerns and plan appropriately when things are calm before a crisis is at hand. What have been the most significant recent changes in the elder law landscape, whether in legislation or practice trends? The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, which became law on 1 January attorneys were finding creative ways to get documents signed in a safe manner. Another way COVID-19 has impacted the way elder law is practiced involves where attorneys and their staff are physically located. Like many businesses, law firms realised that they can offer flexibility and allow staff to work from home either on a part-time or full-time basis. There is no longer an expectation that every attorney and staff member has to be in a brick-andmortar building to provide excellent service to clients. It has also opened the door to a greater talent pool who may not have been able to drive into an office or may not have lived near the law firm, but can work from home and even from another state. While it may be obvious from my answers above, COVID-19 forced attorneys to embrace new technology, especially cloud solutions, to run their businesses. Their business will no longer be negatively impacted if the attorney, staff, or clients cannot come into a physical office. ElderCounsel has been run as a virtual company since its beginning in 2008. Our employees have always worked from home, so we were in a unique position to help attorneys make the switch to running their practice virtually in 2020 when COVID-19 forced many of us to stay at home. Can you tell us how you have observed attorneys in this sector responding to the new challenges? We saw a few attorneys who accelerated their retirement, but most adapted well to the challenges that the pandemic brought our way. Many elder law firms were able to expand their businesses as a result of changes they made to cope with COVID-19. ELDER LAW COVER FEATURE - VALERIE PETERSON 15

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