Why Your Probate Law Firm Needs an Answering Service


Probate law firms don’t get a lot of recognition in the legal industry. They don’t score courtroom wins that garner big headlines. They don’t achieve multi-million-dollar settlements. And yet, they’re an essential part of not just the legal landscape, but modern society as a whole. 

Probate law firms are there to help executors and estate administrators during the difficult days following the death of a family member or friend. They can work with the client to advise and guide them, or they can step in and take a more active role in handling the estate if necessary. 

While their role is vital, it does mean that probate lawyers and their teams spend a great deal of time outside the office. That can lead to major communication problems as calls go unanswered and emails fail to get timely replies. A legal answering service can solve these problems.

The many demands on a probate law firm

Your probate team is likely busier than ever. The legal industry as a whole is seeing a major uptick in business, but as Baby Boomers age, the number of estates going through probate is increasing exponentially. That leads to many demands on your team’s time that keep them from dealing with phone calls and emails.

Depending on the situation, your team might be called on to advise clients on how to handle the estate and to file paperwork with the court. Collecting and managing life insurance proceeds, managing wills to ensure the decedent’s final wishes are honored, and resolving legal validity problems are also part of your everyday routine. 

Add to that helping new clients with estate planning and it becomes quite clear: probate legal teams spend little time in the office and when they do, it’s usually taken up with research, paperwork, and other client-facing tasks. That leaves very little time to answer phones, reply to queries, and deal with things like payment collection or new client onboarding.

How a legal answering service helps probate law firms

What can a legal answering service do to help probate law firms? A great deal, actually. Let’s break things down.

No more unanswered calls

True to its name, a legal answering service can ensure that every call to your law firm is answered promptly, by a human being. That means no more first-time callers being sent to voicemail, and that every call gets that much-needed human touch. Automated phone trees can be helpful, but they’re impersonal and most people detest using them.

When you ensure that every call is answered, you’ll notice a few things. First, you get more first-time clients. That’s because many people won’t leave a voicemail in the first place, either preferring to try back later or deciding to call a competitor. 

Second, the quality of your leads improves. That’s because virtual receptionists can handle tasks like lead screening and intake to ensure that the leads who make it to your phone are the best fit for your law firm’s offerings. 

Setting appointments is easier

Chances are good that your legal team struggles with setting appointments. That’s natural. Everyone’s busy handling client needs and it’s a gargantuan task to correlate who’s doing what and when so that you can schedule new appointments. 

With a legal answering service, you can say farewell to appointment-setting chaos. All you need to do is ensure that your team members block out their time correctly. A virtual receptionist can work with each lead and your calendar to find the right date and time to satisfy everyone. That makes the process painless for potential new clients, providing a better overall experience. It also changes things for your team, who now have more time to focus on mission-critical tasks while an experienced virtual receptionist handles appointment scheduling.

Improved engagement rates

How many times have you had an initial consultation with a new client only to never hear from them again? You wonder what went wrong. Did they choose another attorney? Did they put off their estate planning needs? A lack of engagement can mean dealing with a dwindling flow of new clients, even at a time when the overall demand for probate-related services is high.

A virtual receptionist can offer email and SMS follow-up with leads after your initial phone call or consultation. That drives up engagement, keeps your law firm front and center in their minds, and can also yield important information, such as why they might be considering another law firm or pausing their estate planning process.

The flexibility your team needs

Even if you have a dedicated receptionist and a strategy that allows other team members to answer phones and reply to emails relatively easily, there are still times when no one’s able to do that. Lunch breaks, vacations, office meetings – these are just a few examples. 

A legal answering service can provide temporary receptionist services so that these gaps are covered, your team has the flexibility it needs, and your clients or potential clients always receive a prompt, professional response. And these services aren’t just available on a temporary basis. Whether you need after-hour support, overflow answering, or 24/7 answering, there’s a customizable solution available.

Solving the communication challenge

It’s time to solve your probate law firm’s communication challenge. With a legal answering service, you can focus on what matters most, while experienced virtual receptionists handle phone calls and emails. The result? Improved efficiency, better profitability, happier team members, and satisfied clients.

At Smith.ai, we can be a vital part of your success strategy. Our experienced virtual receptionists can offer flexible answering services, lead screening and intake, appointment setting, email and SMS follow-up, and other essentials. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai.


Law Firm
Virtual Receptionists
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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