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Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Importance of the Human Touch in Estate Planning

Q: Would you talk to a robot about end-of-life decisions?

No one likes to think about their death. Or their possible disability. And if they aren't thinking about it, then they aren't planning for it.

But experienced estate planning attorneys in California and elsewhere know the importance of counseling and educating clients and designing custom estate plans to meet their client’s goals. They bring the human touch to the table.

In fact, at the Law Offices of Berge & Berge, attorneys not only practice exclusively in the area of the estate planning, but offer the exclusive LifePlan™ program that allows clients to maintain and update their estate planning documents in accordance with changes in their personal or financial life. Think of it as a legal insurance policy.

Estate planning is a complex legal and emotional process that is time-consuming if done correctly. A skilled attorney should take time to get to know the client, their family dynamics, their finances, and their wishes and then craft a plan to accomplish their goals. In addition to a will and/or trust, estate planning documents generally include additional documents addressing end-of-life decisions. Such documents may include a living will, and powers of attorney appointed designated agents to handle either financial and/or medical decisions in the event the client becomes disabled or is unable to do so.

In an effort to encourage people to start talking about end-of-life decisions, a recent start-up designed a so-called “chatbot” designed to talk people through end-of-life decisions in about 30 minutes online.

While relying on a bot to provide personalized and accurate medical and legal advice should not be considered an adequate substitute for the comprehensive planning a skilled attorney can provide, it may have limited value in getting the conversation going for extremely reluctant clients to start thinking about some of the things an estate planning attorney may need from them to craft an estate plan.

If you or a loved one is interested in making an estate plan or modifying one, ditch the chatbot for the skilled estate planning lawyers at Berge & Berge. Not only are we living and breathing trained attorneys, but we pride ourselves on maintaining a lifelong personal relationship with our clients. Contact us today to request a consultation.

From our offices in San Jose, we've been proudly serving the South Bay area of California for over 23 years.


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