THE INSTITUTE FOR WILLS AND ESTATE EDUCATION


Practice and Professional Issues for the Estates Lawyer

 

1.            Introduction (15 mins)

Ø  Finding Clients

Ø  Setup of an estates drafting practice

Ø  Marketing Ideas

 

2.            Client Intake Procedures (15 Mins)

Ø  Initial Contact

Ø  Retainer Agreements (Precedent Provided)

 

3.            Obtaining Information from Clients (30 Mins)

Ø  Questionnaires (Precedent Provided)

Ø  Interviewing Clients – raising difficult issues

Ø  Telephone interviews

Ø  Note taking

Ø  Language Issues

 

4.            Joint Retainer Issues  (15 Mins)

Ø  Discharging Professional Obligations

Ø  Acting for both spouses

Ø  When to suggest ILA

Ø  Inter-generational retainers

Ø  Thorny Conflict Issues

 

5.            Document Preparation Issues (15 mins)

Ø  Using Precedents- protecting against mistakes

Ø  Using Software

Ø  Using Clerks

Ø  Reviewing Drafts

Ø  Preparing “new” clauses

 

6.            Draft Document Reviews with Clients (15 mins)

Ø  Sending drafts to clients

Ø  Using Summaries

Ø  Discussing “legalese” with clients

 

7.            Execution Stage  (15 mins)

Ø  Witnesses

Ø  Execution in unusual circumstances (e.g. Blind Testator or at direction of Testator)

Ø  Cover Pages and binding

 

8.            Reporting to Client (15 mins)

Ø  Using standard reporting letters (Precedent provided)

Ø  Communicating to clients in plain language

Ø  Protecting yourself from  potential claims

 

9.            Storage of Documents (15 minutes)

Ø  Professional Obligations regarding safekeeping

Ø  Ensuring Client is aware of necessity of safekeeping

Ø  Requests for delivery of original documents

 

10.          Billing and Fees (15 mins)

Ø  Managing client expectations relating to fees

Ø  Hourly rates vs flat rates

Ø  Determining a “proper” fee

Ø  Getting paid

 

11.          Questions and Answer Period (15 mins)

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