In estate planning, as with funeral planning, often the biggest challenge is getting clients to address an unspoken fear of mortality. The use of humor, well before anyone dies, can help break down this resistance.
Recently, Phanuef Funeral Homes and Crematorium in Manchester, New Hampshire hosted two presentations of “Kicking the Bucket List: Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die.” This community outreach effort, conducted to build preneed funeral planning business, can also work for estate planning attorneys.
Phaneuf’s marketing approach combined a mailing of printed invitations, local TV ads, and an event page on the funeral home’s website with an online registration form. A temporary pop-up page on the site encouraged additional event registrations.
The funeral home had 90 people RSVP for an afternoon talk in Manchester, and 75 people attended. About 50 people RSVP’d for an evening talk in Boscawen, a small town north of Concord, and 45 attended. Plus, another 150 people replied to say they couldn’t attend the presentations, but wanted information about funeral pre-planning. Approximately 300 leads were generated from these two events.
The talk started with a video montage of funny film clips related to death and funerals (a “preview of coming attractions”). It also included a clip from a TV comedy series that pertained specifically to splitting up household goods among siblings, preparing for end-of-life issues, downsizing and estate planning.
Estate planning topics in the talk included:
- Name Your Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
- Establish a Financial Power of Attorney
- Identify an Executor
- Prepare a Valid Will/Trust
- Make a Pet Trust
- Review Royalty Income (with a photo of Prince to illustrate why wills and trusts are needed, especially if you have property and royalty income).
The presentation ran 90 minutes, with funeral director Buddy Phaneuf speaking for the last 30 minutes about preneed funeral planning and its benefits. The audience asked good questions in each session, and many lingered afterward to talk and enjoy refreshments.
Estate planning attorneys can do similar community outreach events to build their client base, with 30 minutes devoted to their area of expertise. Watch the presentation video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ojWVNbpUDUc
Gail Rubin, CT – author, speaker, journalist and death educator – connects with baby boomers using humor, funny films and a light touch on serious subjects. A Certified Thanatologist, her seminars on clearing clutter and organizing for end-of-life issues always get high marks! Download a free 50-point Executors Checklist featured in her latest book KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die from www.AGoodGoodbye.com.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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