This checklist and many others just like it was originally published in the 2-volume Matthew Bender forms publication called Tax, Estate & Financial Planning for the Elderly: Forms and Practice. To order a copy, please visit the Lexis Bookstore.
□ Use of Audio- or Videotapes: Some practitioners make audio- or videotapes for free distribution to existing and potential clients. Again, these can be incorporated into the firm’s website, too. The success of such marketing tools will depend on the ability of the practitioner to convey information in an understandable, comfortable manner. Not all practitioners are blessed with this ability. □ Establish Referral Sources: There are many professionals who need attorneys to whom they can refer clients. These include accountants, geriatric care managers, social workers, and professionals in hospitals and other medical institutions, and insurance professionals. Let’s face it: the establishment of such a referral network will consume years of relationship-building efforts and cannot be rushed. □ Reward Referral Sources: Every referral should be acknowledged. While words (a telephone call, an e-mail, a letter) are adequate, consider tangible rewards such as chocolate, flowers, a gift basket or gift certificate. Referral fees may be appropriate, taking care to comply with applicable rules and limitations. □ Offer Free Visits to Home, Hospital, Nursing Home and Similar Facilities: Physicians abhor home visits, and older patients long for the "good old days" when one's doctor made house calls. Offering home, hospital and nursing home visits will both attract business and present the proper image of an elder law attorney who cares about his clients as human beings. Merely offering such services, in other words, can be remarkably helpful in building a successful practice. □ Become Involved with Professional and Community Organizations. Serving as chair, vice-chair or a member of the elder law committee of the state bar association, or on the board of directors of a non-profit organization serving the elderly, creates the opportunity to educate the professional legal community or the local “lay” community about a practitioner's areas of expertise. As important, it is a means of "giving back'' to a community. Examples include the local Alzheimer's Association and organizations that address the needs of disabled adults.