Why Your Trust & Estate Planning Law Firm Needs an Answering Service


People work hard to build a life for themselves and their loved ones. They strive to create a legacy that will live on after they pass away. A trust or estate plan is the vehicle required to ensure they can make their wishes known, provide for dependents, and even support valued organizations. Your trust and estate planning law firm makes this possible, but if you’re missing phone calls and emails, your firm might be unknowingly passing up opportunities to help clients and build a stronger business.

The state of estate planning today

While trust and estate planning doesn’t get the same attention as other sectors of the legal industry, it’s subjected to several different trends. Economic patterns, in particular, affect how well an individual can plan for the future. According to Caring.com’s 2024 survey:

  • Only one in three Americans have an estate plan. 
  • Over 60% of Americans do not have a will or trust.
  • 40% of Americans say they don’t need a will because they’re too poor.
  • 43% of Americans say they won’t make a will until a health emergency. 
  • Almost 2/3 of Americans feel that having a will is important.

As inflation begins to wane and the economy comes to life once more, trust and estate planning firms will see an influx of new clients, as well as people with questions about estate planning, will creation, the difference between trust and wills, and more. It’s important that your firm can answer these questions, handle lead intake, and still provide the same level of service to existing clients. Often, that means turning to outside help – a legal answering service.

Why choose a legal answering service for your trust and estate planning law firm?

Why should you hire an answering service to help your trust and estate planning firm deal with the surge in communications and potential clients? We’ll discuss some of the most important reasons below.

Handling web-based questions

For younger people, who are increasingly interested in wills and estate planning, the Internet is usually the first resource. You have probably experienced a spike in traffic coming to your law firm’s website, with a corresponding increase in the number of web-based queries, including online chat, email messages, and more. 

This is good news, at least on the surface. After all, it represents an increase in potential clients. However, when you dig a bit deeper, it becomes less positive.

The biggest issue is that law firms are notoriously slow to respond to questions and requests for guidance. This is particularly true when it comes to email and other digital communications. It makes sense, however. 

Your team is tied up with current clients and handling the phones in the office. There’s little time for fielding questions from people who may or may not become clients. The thing is, if you don’t make the time to answer those questions, these people will never become clients. 

A legal answering service can help ensure that web-based queries, online chats, and emails are answered promptly, professionally, and accurately. That creates a positive association with your law firm and makes these people more likely to convert into clients.

Creating a rich network of data to support your relationships

While criminal attorneys, personal injury attorneys, and labor lawyers might only work with a client once, those who focus on wills, trusts, and estate planning form lasting relationships. Often, those relationships last for decades and can span generations. To be successful, they must be based on trust, transparency, mutual respect, and accurate data. 

Any attorney who focuses on wills, trusts, and estate planning knows just how important information is to these processes. Gathering that information begins before an individual even converts into a client. Every touchpoint in the conversion funnel should be accompanied by data-gathering of some type. 

That’s challenging to do if your legal team is busy working with other clients, handling research, and filing documents with the court. A legal answering service can help ensure that you’re able to gather important data and flesh out the image of each potential client so that you and your team know how best to serve them. 

A virtual receptionist can collect information from different touchpoints, including web forms, emails, phone calls, and more. They can then take that data and add it to your CRM, ensuring that it’s available to your team with just a few keystrokes. That accelerates communication, builds an accurate picture of a potential client’s needs, and ensures that your team knows how to help them.

Stop missing phone calls

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of working with a legal answering service is that you no longer need to worry about missing phone calls or returning voicemails. A team of experienced virtual receptionists can ensure that calls are answered immediately, even if they come in after hours or over the weekend. 

The right answering service will also help you set up a customized answering plan, whether that’s only on evenings and weekends, overflow answering, or 24/7 call answering. It’s an important benefit that ensures all calls are answered and your clients and potential clients feel valued.

Finding the right legal answering service

With the right legal answering service, you can grow your practice while creating relationships that last for decades to come. At Smith.ai, we understand the importance of those relationships and the trust they foster. We work with you to create a customized answering solution, integrate caller information into your CRM, and ensure that your phone calls are answered 24 hours a day.

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


Law Firm
Virtual Receptionists
Written by Mike Graner

Mike Graner is the Marketing Manager at Smith.ai. He focuses on engaging content, company updates, and in-person events.


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