How Do You Deal with Grieving Clients?
March 26, 2012 Blog by: Jennifer Price, Chief Operating Officer, American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys+
As all of you are, I’m on Facebook as well. A friend I grew up with lost her 17 year old daughter in a car accident 6 years ago. She has a “In Memory Of” Facebook page for friends and family to post photos or thoughts to. The past couple of years, only she posts. Recently the post read:
“I lost your pen Sunday. It was horrible. I have carried it with me every day since they handed it to me at the police station. I looked and looked. It was like losing a bit of you all over again. The next day, between the washer and the dryer, I found it. It just never ends. I miss you all the time. Mom”
I am not an estate planning attorney like most of our subscribers, I have consulted with hundreds of you over the past 20 years or so, and one thing that I have just never quite gained a clear understanding on is this: I have no idea how you master the art of sitting across the table from a grieving client and doing all the things they need for you to do as a professional without losing your empathy.
Looking at the huge number of responsibilities that estate planning attorneys running a law practice have to be an expert on—this seems to me like one of the most difficult parts. Is that true? Do you have words of wisdom you could share with others on the subject of being comforting, listening fully, having professional “distance” enough to get the job done without getting lost in the process?
Director, Member Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128