But I Might Die Tonight . . . What Happens to Your Law Firm If You Do?

Sorry to be morbid (that’s a great Cat Stevens’ song, though) — but do you know what will happen to your law firm if you die or become disabled?  Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen; but, if it did, are you ultimately placing the unenviable task of winding down your law firm upon your family?

Over my years of consulting, I’ve seen a number of solo and small law firms fall apart, and then shutter, upon the unexpected death or disability of a founding or managing partner.  In that case, family members are often called upon to try to close a business they have no idea how to manage and aren’t even licensed to run.  Oftentimes, other lawyers don’t (or can’t) help because there’s no revenue incentive to do so — always in solo offices, and especially for small firms, the death or disability of a partner means the end of new business.

So, if you’re operating without a succession plan, or a wind-down program, for your law firm, you’re potentially driving your grieving family members into years of taxing and fatiguing work.  No law firm closure I have ever seen that has been managed by family members of the lawyers has been easy, or gone well.

Therefore, it’s essential for you to take the time to create a plan of action now.

Fortunately, there are a number of resources available, including some bar association-designed productions, that have been made publicly available, that should help you in the construction phase.

. . .

If you’re having trouble coming up with a viable succession plan, we can help.

The Wyoming State Bar offers free law practice management consulting services through Red Cave Law Firm Consulting.

To request a consult, visit the Wyoming State Bar’s law practice management page, and start running your law firm like a business.

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