The following are some features we suggest you consider when looking at automating your documents. All of the listed features are optional but illustrate enhancements clients have liked in the past.
1) Basic Answer File. Include a basic answer file that gathers the information used throughout your system. This helps keep track of information such as staff member names, firm address, and so forth. A basic answer file will carry your law firm’s information into all of the other documents. This way you do not have to enter the same standard information for each client.
2) Pick lists. Pick lists allow you to import information from one field to another without duplicating the information. They allow you to transform your personal representative into an attorney-in-fact without retyping names or addresses.
3) Inserts. Commonly used sections of documents, such as notary blocks, can be imported from separately saved documents. Doing so makes updating a snap. An update made to the insert file will automatically carry over to all of the documents it is used in.
4) Multiple Documents. Often a husband and wife share common information. We recommend having your system built to prepare documents for either individual without needing to re-enter information. The document preparation takes a little longer, but the time it saves in the long run makes this feature a must have.
5) Decision Trees. The decision tree is a document that contains all of the questions needed to complete the documents for a client. This makes it extremely easy for the attorney to fill out answers on paper with the client and then enter them into the system later.
6) Master Interview File. A master interview will let you enter all of your information in one place. You can see all of the information that needs to be assembled for the client without having to look at any other document. These work extremely well with decision trees as you can transfer a broad range of questions directly into the computer without changing templates.