So exactly what is a “Law Firm in a Box”?
In short, it's a predatory business model. This post won't make me popular, but I think it's necessary. Before I explain further, it's time for a little background…
Once upon a time, in ye olde days of the 1980's and 90's, trust law became very popular. It was a new estate planning tool that offered new possibilities. In California and New York, probate is not only excessively expensive per statute, but it can also be a very, very long process. Trusts were the magic bullet to the problem: They avoided probate altogether, saving time and money in the long run. And, to top it off, lawyers could charge more for a revocable living trust. So it's a win-win all around, right?
Well, sorta. Altogether, this led to lawyers pushing trusts on people who had no need for them. Sure, there are benefits to trusts, and sometimes they're downright necessary. But the benefits certainly don't justify the cost in all instances.
Law Firm in a Box
Sometime after trusts became popular, companies started popping up that sold the miracle practice of law. For the low low price of several thousands of dollars, they promised to provide to lawyers with essentially a ‘Law Firm in a Box'. The company would provide attorneys who wanted to start their own law firms very basic training in how to draft a will and a revocable trust. Nothing more, mind you, but that was all that was needed for the business model. Then the company would provide marketing materials and training on how to do a ‘hard sell': how to convince everyone that a trust was necessary in every case. After a few courses, the company sets the attorney loose on the world to make money at the expense of their clients' gullibility.
And at the expense of the attorney's ethical obligation to represent the client in the client's best interest, in my opinion anyways.
The short of the matter is that trusts are not always needed or even beneficial. Especially in Minnesota, where probate is not always as expensive or egregious of a process as it is in New York or California. At Signature Law, you will not be pushed into an unnecessary trust, and at times, may even be persuaded out of one. You have our guarantee that your estate will be reviewed honestly, with your best interests in mind.