show episodes
 
What would a law firm built by the founders of Disney, Four Seasons, Amazon, and Zappos look like? Lawyers (and other professionals) aren't in the same "service" industry as those companies, but that doesn't mean we can't benefit from employing their rigorous service mindsets. We give you inspiration and tactics to smooth out your processes, bolster your reputation, and increase your revenue - every episode of Five Star Counsel has actionable tips for you to build the firm that clients rave ...
 
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show series
 
For the first time on this program, we're turning the tables a bit and inviting our guest to receive live feedback and consultation from John on their firm's client service systems and overall philosophy. This week on Five Star Counsel, we're talking with Greg Steele of Greg Steele Law in Anderson, SC. Greg has some unique challenges as both a smal…
 
Trust and estates experts discuss recent IRS Chief Counsel Advice’s impact on difficult to value assets in Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT). The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals bes…
 
A trust and estate expert explains the complexities and ins and outs of IRS Code Section 678, beneficiary defective inheritor trusts BDITs, and beneficiary deemed owner trusts BDOTs. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. …
 
Are you curious about using webinars to attract clients? How do you get started? What's the right path for you and your firm? Paul Yokabitus is our guest this week. Paul is the founder of Cary Estate Planning and Planwell Legal, where he practices Estate Planning law. Paul took what was looking like a disastrous downturn at the start of the pandemi…
 
Does infidelity void a premarital agreement? A law professor discusses adultery provisions, infidelity clauses, and no-fault divorce as public policy. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals…
 
Is your office culture non-existent in a post-pandemic world? Are you struggling with a hybrid, virtual and in-person, work arrangement? How do you create a working environment that suits the new normal? I think most of our listeners understand that the new expectation for many workers in the U.S. is a higher level of work flexibility, in both time…
 
We're on a brief break this week after the holidays, but we still want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. Check out our chat with Jonathan Stark about how to ditch the billable hour pricing format. What could your business be like if you were no longer chained to th…
 
An explanation and examples of spousal support in premarital agreements, especially helpful in states that litigate fault in divorce and tie it to alimony. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professi…
 
Is your sales process structured? Do you even have a sales process? How can a sales process affect your overall client service? Allison Williams of Law Firm Mentor joins us this week to discuss just that. Law Firm Mentor provides coaching services for solo and small law firms, and one of her specialties is perfecting their sales process. We've talk…
 
ABA RPT Law Journal author offers an overview on new article “Conflicts of Laws and the Transitivity of the ‘Relation-Back’ of Special Powers of Appointment.” The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers profe…
 
As a small attorney, you know how important Google is to your business. But you might not realize that your Google My Business profile - the info that pops up when someone googles or searches for your firm in Maps - might be your firm's real key differentiator between you and your competitors. This week, I'm joined by Paul Cashman and Wes Lungwitz …
 
Litigation can be costly. Understand the special considerations attorneys should be aware of when reviewing trust accounting to avoid litigation. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best…
 
What would happen if your firm's network, your email, your social accounts or your client files got hacked? How devastating could it be to your company? More importantly, what could you be doing now to protect your data and your business? Our guest this week is Tom Lambotte, of Boba Guard Security, who joins us to discuss preventative measures lawy…
 
A review of the rules, probate and estate administration exceptions to avoid issues regarding self-dealing transactions between a foundation and a donor. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers profession…
 
Do you find yourself slogging through the days and weeks, buried in work? Are you frustrated at your current growth? Is your company culture simply some version of “Work hard. Bill hours. Make money?” Are you happy with that? Our guest this week is a brilliant entrepreneur, David Heinemeier Hansson. David is the cofounder of Basecamp & HEY, creator…
 
An overview of non-fungible tokens, NFT, for estate planning professionals including creation, management, and protection. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practice advice, insig…
 
We're on a brief break this week after the holiday, but we still want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. Check out John's take on setting your firm's standards. You have standards and expectations for service in your personal life - shouldn't your firm have standard…
 
Is every member of your staff on the same level when it comes to tech proficiency? Is it possible that you actually *losing* efficiency by employing tech? This week, we're joined by Alicia Pierre of Legally Techie, who specializes in legal-focused tech training. We want to get a lot out of our tech tools, but a lack of competence and a lack of trai…
 
A review of changes to Tennessee trust laws that make the state a desirable trust jurisdiction, streamlined trust statutes, and made it difficult for creditors. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers pro…
 
Do you want to know how to make your job postings pop? How do you weed through a sea of applicants and land that dream employee? How do we make the hiring process better and easier for law firms? Our guest this week is Molly McGrath of Hiring & Empowering Solutions. For nearly 25 years, she's coached and consulted law firms to get the best results …
 
An overview of the uses of exculpatory clauses in estate planning, enforceability under state law and advice for litigators. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practice advice, ins…
 
We're on a brief break this week, but we want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. Here's John's take on the importance of your firm's values, culture, and standards. Client service should stem from an overarching goal or philosophy. Our firms' values, standards, and …
 
Understand how well drafted beneficiary trusts can go wrong under IRS Code Section 678 and how to avoid pitfalls from a T&E expert. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practice advi…
 
Has tech made traditional legal assistants and secretaries obsolete? Think your firm can slash costs AND improve productivity by letting that support staff go? Not so fast. Law firms are laying off their support staff at alarming rates, thinking that automation is going to improve their service and efficiency. The big problem is, the automation inf…
 
ACTEC proposes a major update to a 40-year-old IRS Code 6166 that provides estate tax deferral for family businesses but has aged poorly. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practic…
 
Is your firm's efficiency still being judged by hours logged? Are your firm's flexibility policies still resulting in micromanagement and long hours? How can we get out of this paradigm of management by clock? Our guest, Jody Thompson, is the founder of CultureRx and creator of the Results-Only Work Environment or ROWE - a management strategy ancho…
 
Expert discusses proposed legislation that retroactively takes aim at the tax benefits of QSBS and offers estate planning suggestions to prepare. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best…
 
How much do you earn every year from referrals? What if you could dramatically increase that number with some simple steps? Our guest this week is Stacey Brown Randall, Referral Ninja Master, and creator of the Referrals Without Asking strategy. Her program is designed to generate referrals without asking, without manipulation or feeling inauthenti…
 
Florida lawyers discuss strategies for preserving inherited retirement plan assets and address uncertainties related to state laws and the SECURE Act. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals…
 
Throughout the first year in our podcasting journey, we've learned a lot from our guests, and our core tenets have been honed and adjusted. We thought we'd take this time to refresh our growing audience on the essentials, and talk about the core concepts of Five Star Counsel that have come into even clearer focus. We'll discuss our show's goals, ou…
 
A review of asset protection code in Wyoming, Wyoming’s Uniform Trust Code, and how it compares to other states.A review of asset protection code in Wyoming, Wyoming’s Uniform Trust Code, and how it compares to other states. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers i…
 
Are you fearing a new future where big tech companies push you out of business? Where the Amazon of legal services makes you obsolete? My guest and I are here to tell you to put those fears to bed. Conrad Saam is the founder of Mockingbird Marketing, an agency focused on marketing for the legal industry. He previously spent 6 years running marketin…
 
Laws governing creditor rights vary from state to state. Understand the differences in trust provisions and corresponding effects against creditor claims. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professio…
 
Are you ready to bring on new associates? Great! Now, how do you expect those new employees to know and understand your firm's processes, values, and work culture? You can't just throw them in the ocean and assume their law school knowledge will keep them afloat. That is old-school, 1984-law firm stuff, and we have to be better than that. Modern on…
 
Insights into the capital structure and risk/reward of SPAC investing along with estate planning advice for potential valuation issues, the applicability of section 2701, and the use of GRATs with these assets. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United S…
 
Is a client going to pay for a service they don't value? Even if they do, are they going to be happy about it? Ed Kless is the Senior Director at Sage Accountants Solutions and host of the Soul of Enterprise podcast. Ed has fantastic takes on pricing and billing for professional services, and we had him on the show this week to discuss the concept …
 
Understanding the tax court’s decision of publicity rights in the Michael Jackson estate and applying business estate planning techniques to postmortem publicity rights. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series o…
 
Lee Cockerell is a customer service icon, and I was thrilled to have him join our show. Lee served as the Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World Resort for ten years. This means he ran 20 resort hotels with over 24,000 Guest rooms, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 5 golf courses, a shopping village & nighttime entertainment c…
 
Practical advice from a tech-savvy lawyer for law firms migrating software and data to a cloud server. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practice advice, insights and commentary o…
 
Does the term "Sales" make you shiver? Are lawyers, law firms, and legal services somehow above a lowly sales process? Sales is all about need fulfillment, and your clients have needs! That you can fulfill! You're not selling them on something they don't need, you're helping them solve their problem, or move their needle on an important issue. Stev…
 
An update on electronic wills, remote witnessing, and notarization legislation in Illinois. The act because law on July 26, 2021. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practice advice…
 
An overview of NFTs, non-fungible tokens, how they work and what do estate planning professionals need to know. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practice advice, insights and com…
 
How much time could systems and processes save you every week? If one new program or app or template could save you 2 hours a week, would you use it? Stacy Carlson is the Partner Manager at TextExpander, where she helps businesses consistent communicate smarter and faster across all their channels. She focuses on systems and processes, and is a sel…
 
Experts discuss what trustees and fiduciaries need to know regarding cryptocurrency regulation. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practice advice, insights and commentary on subje…
 
Do clients need to understand the process, terminology, and documents we're creating for them? Of course they do, and clients are much happier and less stressed when they understand what's going on. And, as a bonus, they appreciate us and the value what we bring to their situation. But how do we make it easier to explain and translate the specific …
 
The COVID pandemic caused many states to accelerate their laws regarding electronic wills. Learn what’s working and what’s not. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practice advice, …
 
Is your intake process getting your firm the results it needs? Is your intake process creating barriers for potential clients? Could it be refined or totally reworked? This week, we're joined by Billie Tarascio, successful attorney and co-author of Tiger Tactics: Powerful Strategies for Winning Law Firms. Billie is a master of the intake process, a…
 
An overview of ACTEC’s recommendations to revise IRC Section 6166, which hasn’t been updated in 40 years. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practice advice, insights and commentar…
 
You don't have the time or luxury of slowly getting new employees up to speed. You owe it to yourself and your firm to get new hires trained efficiently. This week, Matt Gjertsen joins us - he's a former U.S. Air Force instructor pilot and Manager of Training and Development for SpaceX who's founded Better Every Day Studios, focused on transforming…
 
An overview of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, report and debate on inheritance tax. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is a professional society of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers in the United States and around the globe. This series offers professionals best practice advice, insights …
 
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