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You to Heaven, Your Practice to Hell?

In the latest issue of the ABA Law Practice Management Section e-zine Law Practice Today, lawyers Courtney Kennaday and Reid Trautz consider a topic most of us prefer not to think about: "When You Go to Heaven, Will Your Practice Go to Hell?" Lawyers -- especially those in solo and small practices -- know full well they should protect their clients and their families by planning for untimely death or disability. Do they? Not often enough.

Kennaday and Trautz are both practice management advisers -- Kennaday for the South Carolina Bar and Trautz for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Both agree that it is all too common for a lawyer's practice to be hobbled by sudden death or disability. How do they know? "Because we get the calls and e-mails from the people the lawyer left behind, wondering what on earth they are supposed to do."

So what should the lawyer do to prepare for the unforeseeable? Prepare a plan. Designate another lawyer to step in and review your files and notify clients. Contact your own bar's practice-management adviser to discuss options. If you die without a succession plan," Kennaday and Trautz write, "you are leaving no possibility of a satisfactory outcome for anyone you leave behind."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on January 26, 2009 at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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