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Note From the Editor: February 2020

Editor in Chief Susan R. Lipp discusses this month's issue.

I’m not exactly a maven on new technology. My most recent cell phone upgrade was to an iPhone 8 (and I thought that was the height of sophistication). But, I do understand that technology has become a big part of our personal and professional lives. It can help estate-planning professionals to market their practices, as well as increase a firm’s bottom line. However, we need to be aware of how to effectively use the available technology and avoid violating ethical principles. In our Committee Report on The Modern Practice, the authors explore many of these issues.  

For example, if your firm uses social media for marketing purposes, you need to know the social media platforms and what types of materials are appropriate to share. In his article “Social Media Professional Development,” p. 40, Pedram A. Tabibi explains the basics as well as the do’s and don’ts of posting content on social media. And, in “Incorporating Technology Into Your Practice,” p. 50, Martin M. Shenkman and Thomas A. Tietz explain the different ways that new technology can make your practice more efficient, profitable and rewarding and the steps to take to adapt technology into your practice. If you’re afraid of robots taking over your job, your worst fears may be confirmed in “AI and the World of Estate Planning,” p. 55, by Michael L. Graham, Jeff Glickman, Jonathan G. Blattmachr and Vanessa Kanaga. Their article describes the different types of artificial intelligence that’s currently out there and its impact on the estate-planning field. They introduce us to “Sophia,” a lifelike, female-presenting humanoid robot. As they note, “[s]he has expressive features, a rather awkward smile and the ability to carry on a very interesting conversation on a variety of subjects.”

Also, I’d like to welcome Denise Appleby and Nancy H. Welber to the editorial advisory board. They’ll join the Retirement Benefits Committee. 

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