Over the past couple months I’ve noticed an increase in the number of parents who are registering as clients on my VLO and requesting legal services on behalf of their adult children. A fellow attorney on Twitter commented that this must be the newest form of helicopter parenting.
Most of these concerned parents are requesting that I create estate planning documents on their behalf. A few of these online requests are for domestic law matters, such as helping their children with child support and custody issues related to their grandchildren.
Of course, I immediately tell them that I would be happy to work with their children, but cannot provide them with these services directly in place of their children. Or in the case of domestic legal matters which I personally do not handle as an attorney, I refer them to another attorney who can assist them. Fortunately we now have two other family law VLOs in NC so I have other virtual law practices to refer online clients to for those issues.
It is surprising to see how some parents try to micromanage their children even into adulthood and even so far as to want to pay for them to have Wills and advance directives drafted. The parents cannot execute them on behalf of their children so even if they decide to go from my VLO to purchase the $60 DIY kits from OfficeDepot or something from LegalZoom, they still will not be able to make the documents enforceable for their children.
An attorney on Twitter this past holiday season had mentioned selling estate planning gift certificates as a marketing technique for his law practice. Now I’m wondering if that wasn’t such a bad idea for my VLO. If online helicopter parenting is going to extend to my VLO, then maybe I should offer that as an option instead of turning all of them away. What do you think?