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Wills & Estates

The dangers of renting out your signature as a virtual witness on a will or POA

The virtual execution of wills and powers of attorney has suddenly become a big topic for Ontario lawyers, even those practising outside the wills and estates bar. The April 7, 2020 (amended April 22) emergency Order in Council now permits, on a temporary basis, the virtual witnessing of wills and powers of attorney in Ontario…. Read More »

Categories: Wills & Estates, Technology

How to lessen your risk of a malpractice claim when virtually witnessing wills and powers of attorney

[Updated April 24, 2020] As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on April 7, 2020 the Government of Ontario released an emergency Order temporarily allowing the virtual execution of wills and powers of attorney by means of “audio-visual communication technology” as of that date. On April 22, 2020, a new emergency order was… Read More »

Categories: Wills & Estates

Availability of insurance coverage for lawyers acting as executor or trustee

willsestates

Estate lawyers will sometimes be called upon by a client to act as executor or trustee as part of their Professional Services. Depending on the complexity of the estate or trust, these appointments can last for years and involve a substantial time investment. As with other aspects of a legal practice, alleged errors in the… Read More »

Categories: Wills & Estates, LAWPRO Errors and Omissions Coverage

Wills: Why you should send clients detailed reporting letters

communication-errors

While the will itself is the product of the collaboration between lawyer and client, the reporting letter serves a separate purpose: it’s the record of the context. To the extent that the reporting letter documents the process of crafting the will, it can bolster validity, shield the lawyer from malpractice allegation and demonstrate the value… Read More »

Categories: Communication Errors, Wills & Estates, Areas of Law, Risk Management & Claims Prevention

LAWPRO Alert: Statement on Re Milne Estate decision

LAWPRO ALert

LAWPRO is aware of the Re Milne Estate  decision and we confirm that it has been appealed. We expect the appeal won’t be heard for several months. We hope the appeal decision brings clarity to how primary and secondary wills should be drafted. Lawyers that have drafted wills that may be impacted by this decision… Read More »

Categories: Announcements, Wills & Estates, Risk Management Strategies, LAWPRO Errors and Omissions Coverage, Risk Management & Claims Prevention

Malpractice claims regarding wills double in a decade

biggest-claims-risks

While wills and estates may never rival litigation or real estate as a risky practice area for lawyers, LAWPRO has seen the average annual number of wills claims double over the past 10 years. Growth in property values renders these errors more expensive and growing complexity in family structures, family law and tax law makes… Read More »

Categories: Biggest Claims Risks, Communication Errors, Wills & Estates, Areas of Law, Risk Management & Claims Prevention

Contingency planning for lawyers: Do you have a plan in place for your practice?

willsestates

LAWPRO encourages lawyers to consider the impact that their unexpected death or incapacity would have on their practices, and to implement a plan to ensure that their clients continue to be served. The following article provides a good overview of issues lawyers should consider when making contingency plans. It originally appear in Hull & Hull… Read More »

Categories: Wills & Estates, Practice Aids, Law Practice Management
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