Recently, we have resumed in-person client meetings, masked or unmasked depending on client preferences. As the Maryland courts have begun reopening, we have argued motions and, albeit more rarely, tried cases in-person, before Circuit Court judges. Soon these courts will resume full schedules. To date, most Orphans’ Courts and Registers of Wills have remained “virtual” but are soon expected to return to pre-pandemic practices.
Our Remote/Virtual Experience
Beginning in March 2020, of course, the law firm of Franke Beckett LLC largely operated as a “virtual” law practice. Fortunately, we had the technology in place to continue serving clients without in-person meetings. Thanks to various executive orders by Governor Hogan, we were able to take planning from beginning to end, including final remote signing and notarization of the documents. We implemented over 85 complete estate plans with clients, attorneys, witnesses, and notaries linked by audio/visual technology from different locations – an ultimate exercise in “social distancing.” From our clients’ perspective, the main difference is substituting in-person consultations with “virtual” meetings by telephone and/or video conferences.
Lessons Learned for Future Client Services
Although we hope never again to experience the social isolation caused by the pandemic, we developed skills and techniques that will continue to benefit our clients. Although our physical office is in Annapolis, our practice is not defined by geography, and we have enjoyed representing clients from all over Maryland. Our clients from the Eastern Shore, Baltimore, the southern counties, and the counties surrounding Washington may find our continued remote service option an added convenience.
What Accounts for Our Broad Geographic Reach?
The organizing principle of our firm is a deep knowledge and experience in the law of fiduciaries, closely held business succession planning, and estates and trusts. We handle a broad array of matters within our practice niche. The need for the legal services we provide is not defined by where a client may live or work. Historically we have had clients from most of central Maryland, and occasionally from the western counties. Our clients and/or their advisors seek us out to address matters of great importance to them.
Virtual and/or In-Person Going Forward
During the pandemic, we were able to seamlessly offer remote legal services because of our investment in technology and because of various executive orders signed by Governor Hogan. After the critical stage of the pandemic subsides, the executive emergency orders will eventually lapse, and legislative initiatives may fill the gap. Regardless of those developments, we will we continue to use a mix of remote and in-person methods to deliver client services. We will accommodate the wishes of our clients, to the degree possible, when structuring the “right” mix of virtual/in-person delivery of legal services.
Learn More / Contact Us
Whether we are representing clients using “virtual” interactions or using more traditional ways, we continue as a practice focused exclusively on the law of fiduciaries, closely held business succession planning, and estates and trusts. Within that practice niche, however, we have a broad practice experience. For more information regarding our practice (here) or for contact information go (here).