In February, HotDocs introduced a new product called HotDocs Document Services. This new service is a Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) offering. One of its advantages is that it allows you to send your clients an interview via email and then allows your clients to enter their information. After your clients have completed the interview, you can then review their information and generate your clients’ documents quicker, thereby reducing the time you spend entering client information. By utilizing HotDocs Document Services, you can generate documents and organize your templates anytime and anywhere as the templates are hosted online.

How will HotDocs Document Services help me? — Answer: This product will save you time.

As a HotDocs consulting company, we have been asked a number of times, over the years, if there is a way to allow clients to fill out some of the information needed for an estate plan in an online questionnaire. With HotDocs Document Services, you now have the option to have your clients fill out an online questionnaire that is customized to your firm’s needs.

Our approach to creating an online questionnaire

We have talked to hundreds of estate planning attorneys over the years, and as we discuss their practices, there is one question we like to ask: do you send out a questionnaire to your clients prior to your meeting? We have discovered that attorneys fall into two categories:

  1. they do not send out questionnaires to their clients, because their clients will not fill out the questionnaire; or
  2. they do send out questionnaires to their clients, but their clients do not fully complete the questionnaire.

The question then becomes, how will an online questionnaire help attorneys in either of these categories? Actually, an online questionnaire can help both types of attorneys, because the advantage to an online questionnaire is that you can direct your clients through the interview process using help text and dynamic links. By using these tools, your clients will only need to answer the questions that pertain to their situation, creating a better experience for them. You also have the option to add links to help videos (describing a particular term or nuance that they should be aware of) in the interview. One strategy that you might choose to adopt is to offer a discount to your clients who fill out the online questionnaire, thus saving you time.

I’m sold on the online questionnaire, so where do I go from here?

REAL has created an online demonstration of an estate planning questionnaire. To contact us, you can email us or call us at 801-766-3183. We will then provide you with the link to our questionnaire and walk you through the process of creating your online questionnaire.

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