Technology within will writing
It seems today that our kids, our grandkids and children as young as 4 have a greater understanding of technology than anyone over the age of 40. There are apps to tell you the weather, apps to talk to your friends, apps to make new friends, we can even unfriend someone that was our friend, that we have never met nor have spoken to, that validate our interaction with the world, that we hurt even though that friend is complete stranger, was there ever a greater paradox than technology?
As we venture into adulthood and advance through life, we, as the human race, tend to devolve from technology as technology evolves around us, but is that right? Is than the correct way to live our lives and, importantly, is it the correct way to do business? How many of us have iPhones that we use to simply make, receive calls and respond to emails on, but yet, every year a new “must have” model is released? How many of us have iPads that we use to simply play games on, use to read books on or use to quickly shop at the same online Brazilian store that sells everything that we could ever need, besides what we actually need? But, in the same breath, how many of now use online banking regularly? Rely upon emails to conduct our lives and business? And how many of us are aware of technology and just want or need, either unwittingly or consciously, someone to show us how it can benefit us?
Will writing, legal document production and financial organisation are centuries old industries, going beyond Roman times, whereby the learned amongst us produced dictated wishes, decreed commands and manufactured written instructions for others, either passing down heritage, securing the future for offspring or simply ensuring charities of choice are catered for. But how have these systems evolved? How futuristic and technology biased are any of those/our industries? 2000 years ago, an expert would formalise the wishes of his or her client by putting those wishes into hand written format. 20 years ago, the same procedure endured, only using a typewriter. Today, instead of writing the wishes and methods of reducing tax liabilities on paper, we are typing the same words onto a screen. It seems that, dare I say it, our industry is one of the most technically backward around. Butchers utilise technology and manufacturing to make their industry more efficient, bakers use technology to produce a multitude of different kinds of bread with different baking techniques within small premises, and candlestick makers, well, they are so technically advanced, they are actual robots.
As solicitors, lawyers, will writers and IFAs, we are each charged with important information, critical information and need to be at the top of our game to provide the service expected. But we shudder at technological advancement. We still cut and paste precedents, still use the same “off the shelf”, single-user software for creating wills that was released almost 15 years ago. Worryingly, most of us don’t have cars that old, but we rely on THAT age of technology to run our business and some use a databank of standard clauses that are adapted as a basic template to create documents.
Is it time to evolve with the technology around us, to embrace it, to utilise it to our own advantage?
Should we, as an industry, adapt to technologically advancement and insist on that OUR industry keep up with modern practices? IT and will creation software systems are already on the market offering banking level security of created documents, providing group and promote team working within organisations, but we are reticent to use them. If you could take the same iPad to a client’s house, to take instructions there and then, to demonstrate on the spot how you are building their will or LPA, would you see that as a technical breakthrough? Would your clients?
Like your mobile phone, markets need to be catered for, need to be listened to and providers need to recognise this and adapt, need to be proactive and responsive to market shifts. So where does the fault lay? Why don’t more of us know about these type of systems and why don’t we, as an industry utilise them? Using the same analogy, as a user you afford yourself the time to learn how to use your new mobile phone, even the basics and accept and adapt to the new, the change in software and operation. 5 years ago we all had mobile phones that were primarily phones with extra functions and now we all have smartphones that are primarily multifunctional, with a phone as an extra function, and yet we all embrace that technology.
Technology within our industry is here, is available to all of us and is affordable and is easy to use. IT-based will and legal document creation has the power to make our industry more efficient, has the power to bring in new clients by promoting a more professional, up-to-date service and a service to appeal to the younger, more tech savvy client. Technology also has the power to improve the industry by providing standardisation, eliminating oversights, making will amendments easier and more appealable, technology has the power to make our industry better.
The future is here, is now, it is just a matter of recognising it, embracing it and adapt to it, adapting to change.