ElderSystems Elder Law and Estate Planning Package
Boost your productivity with seven detailed workflows for estate planning and elder law.
Actionstep is a case management platform which enables users to build highly customized workflows and link data among different features to improve productivity. Its power comes from the minute degree to which all of its features can be tailored, but that also creates the problem of a complicated initial setup process that can take weeks or even months for a small firm.
For elder law and estate planning firms, the Elder Law and Estate Planning package eliminates the need to “reinvent the wheel.” Actionstep users can install this set of workflows and begin using them straight out of the box, or they can make adjustments to further customize features according to the practices and preferences of their own firm.
Action Types and Workflow
The Estate Planning Package improves productivity in two ways: it unifies case data in one convenient location (contacts, documents, tasks, appointments, communications, billing, etc.), and it creates a linear workflow with tasks customized to each type of matter.
Included in the package are seven workflows designed for firms that practice elder law and estate planning:
- Prospective Case
- Asset Protection Plan for Medicaid
- Asset Protection Plan for VA
- Estate Plan
- Power of Attorney Package
- Special Needs Trust
Each workflow contains its own set of steps and tasks customized to the nature of the work involved in that type of matter. As the matter progresses through a workflow, tasks are automatically generated and assigned to particular roles, such as the Attorney or Legal Assistant.
Auto-generated deadlines are designed to keep work flowing smoothly through the office so that matters do not linger longer than necessary. Additional tasks may be added manually on a case-by-case basis, or a system administrator can build more standard tasks into their firm’s Actionstep system. The system also includes standardized methods of organizing files, storing e-mails, linking contacts to matters and to each other, and securely exchanging documents with clients.
Custom Data and Participant Types
Actionstep allows users to create custom data fields that are specific to certain types of contacts and matters. These can be complicated to create from scratch, but the elder law and estate planning package comes with several built-in custom data collections. Most notable are the Dates and Action Plan data collections.
By clicking the dates button on any of the matters included in the system, a user can quickly view details about the dates on which certain milestones were reached or see when deadlines are approaching. Some of these dates are linked to task deadlines, so updating the date automatically adjusts the deadline.
The Action Plan is a valuable tool for the Attorney to communicate with support staff at the outset of the matter about which documents to draft, how to customize those documents for the client, and what next steps to pursue.
Categories of contacts, called participant types, may also be customized. The Estate Planning Package includes over 70 participant types such as Care Facility, Client Primary Contact, and Attorney-in-Fact. The Caller participant type also includes a data collection which an intake worker can use to collect detailed information about the caller’s needs and family circumstances prior to scheduling an initial consultation.
Each workflow in the system contains document and e-mail templates that merge information from matter and contact data to enable efficient creation of standard letters – an incredible time-saver for the firm. Employees need to make selections among options on several documents, but they do not have to enter names, contact information, or docket numbers once those have been appropriately added to the matter or contacts list.
The bulk of the documents included in the system are letters, but there are also several intake documents as well as spreadsheets for calculating a client’s assets. Using the Actionstep plugin for Microsoft Office, users can generate templates in Word or Excel, and save directly back to Actionstep without having to download and re-upload documents.
Each workflow in the Estate Planning package includes help files (“Wikis”) specific to the package to guide new users through setting up their own systems and customizing the workflows, templates, tasks, etc. to meet their firm’s unique needs.
Wiki topics include:
- Initial Setup
- Workflow Patterns and Variations
- Matter Type Timelines
- Using and Modifying Document Templates
- How to Use the Financial Assessment Report
- Using Custom Data Collections
- Using the Portal
- Intake Documents and Procedures
- Systems: Best Practices
For questions related to customizing workflows, billing, and general Actionstep features, users should contact Actionstep Support.