How does a Zoom meeting work to discuss estate law?

Zoom, Skype, Facetime all work great and these words have become extremely common in our everyday discussions since the COVID-19/Coronavirus crisis. So how does a Zoom meeting work to discuss estate law?  Why is Zoom beneficial? Is it easy to use?  If you are our typical 83 year old couple doing estate planning can you use Zoom?  Let’s talk about it.  Also, at the bottom of this blog post I include a link to a page on the Zoom website ( that explains the how-to with more technical expertise.

Before I go on have you used Zoom to talk to your grandkids, have a “virtual happy hour” with your college buddies, or talked to your medical professionals?  If so, you don’t need to read further because you already know how easy Zoom is to use. However, if you have not yet used Zoom, or just want to know more what a Zoom with your lawyer is like, read on….

First of all we have a professional Zoom account so we would plan, or initiate, the meeting. You don’t have to worry about that.

We do meetings to discuss California probate, California living trusts, California estate planning, related tax planning and also some business law matters. I, John Palley, only do probate court work but I have a team of experienced lawyers in my firm who can help with the other matters.

Things you need to do to do Zoom:

  1. You need a Zoom compatable device (smart phone, computer, tablet).
  2. You need a microphone and a speaker (built in to all smart phones and tables and many computers).
  3. You should test your microphone and speakers and you can do this within the Zoom app.
  4. You need a quiet place to hold your meeting but of course most people don’t want a lot of people around when you discuss legal matters.
  5. You need time to have a good quality meeting. Ha, ha! That’s a joke right!? We all got free time these days!
  6. You need an open mind that a Zoom call is different than an in person meeting.
  7. Good wi-fi is important but not a deal breaker.  Wi-fi or cellular reception is required though. If you can access websites then you have this.
  8. You can wear your PJs if you want… but wear something!  Google “embarrassing Zoom pictures” for what can go wrong. For example, the lady made famous for going to the bathroom during a Zoom call… but forgetting she was on a Zoom call!  Ooopsss!

I won’t go over all these but rather just highlight a few.

We will send you an email or a text message if you prefer which includes a direct link to the Zoom meeting. The first time you hit that link (which can be anytime even days before the planned meeting) your computer/smart phone will download some software onto the device (takes seconds) and give you the opportunity to test your mic and speakers. It’s basically automatic and it’s SUPER EASY!

I mention that a Zoom call is different but I don’t say better and I don’t say worse. It’s different because it’s great in that you don’t have to drive to our office so you are saving time and gas!  However, there can be occasional technical glitches and it is different meeting over the video rather than across the conference room table.

I personally like it as it lends itself really well for my California probate court practice.  Most people needing to do a probate want to get started right away, they are short on time, they are stressed, and so much more. A Zoom call can be great!

In conclusion we think Zoom is great and it’s really easy to use. However, we are happy to just talk on the phone or, in many probate cases, just trade emails.

Give us a call or send us an email. Hopefully we can help you with your legal needs!

Here’s that link to the Zoom article.

Please reach out to us so we can help you with probate, estate, trust and related legal matters.

-John Palley

P.S. If you want to take your Zoom calls to the next level look into Zoom backgrounds. It’s simply a matter of adding background photo (of just about anything) so it can make you look like you are at Disneyland, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, or wherever you want to be. It’s sort of fun and pretty easy to set up! Oh ya, and it’s free!

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