Estate Lawyer #3 – Concerned About Our Business Model

Echoing some of the concerns raised by other lawyers this week, there does not seem to be much potential in the business of Legacy referring business to lawyers.  The lawyer I spoke with, Merle,  in his 80s, used to be the former President of the Philadelphia Council of  Estate Planners.  Merle believes in fact that lawyers can only receive referrals from other lawyers and that receiving referrals from non-lawyers is illegal.   He has been operating under this assumption for the last 50 years of his career.

He mentioned that if he were a young lawyer specialized in estate planning, that he would be concerned because of the shrinking size of customer base he benefit.  The estate laws are always changing and two recent changes to the tax law regarding portability (shifting assets between deceased spouse and survivng spouse) and the increase in the size of exemptions ($10M for a couple) has made the target market for estate lawyers much smaller.

Generally, Merle thought there would be some value in our system overall to the end user and suggested there be a section that helps inform our users under what general scenarios legal council would be beneficial.


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