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Many people are of the view that a will is the type of document that can be completed by filling in a few blanks on a stationer’s form or that they are a five minute drafting job.  I have received many calls from individuals who advise they would like a “simple” will.   Unfortunately, many litigation cases, not to mention family feuds, exist because someone assumed will making is always a simple exercise.  For example, there is actual case law and situations (some passing through my office) where:

and the list goes on….as you can see, litigation can quickly eat up estate assets, destroy family relationships and destroy the deceased’s estate plan!

The simplicity of the process really depends upon each person’s fact scenario.  Thus, a thorough fact finding process should proceed the preparation and execution of estate planning documents, including a will.  Should you retain a lawyer to assist you with this, their review and discussion with you should include your:

This list is not exhaustive.  In essence, a professional estate planning experience should include a sound dialogue between the lawyer whose practice focus is wills and estates, and the client.  The lawyer should go beyond the questionnaire answers in order to give tailored legal advice.  They will be looking for red flags in your personal situation which, when spotted, can be addressed to avoid future problems, including estate litigation.

The lawyer will also be able to detect the need to involve other professionals in the planning process and connect you with those in their network.  For example, it is not uncommon to need the advice and services of a family lawyer (for example, the will maker may be going through a divorce), a tax specialist or accountant, financial advisor, insurance specialist, real estate agent or funeral pre-planner.

Since your personal situation is not like everyone else’s in the world, your estate plan should not be either.


Andrea Kelly, Lawyer, has extensive experience in wills, trusts, powers of attorney and estate administration matters.  She provides clients with a high standard of timely professionalism and expertise, incorporating a very thorough fact finding process.  This is quite often enlightening for her clients and facilitates individually tailored services.  If you would like to know more, feel free to use the easy contact form or read Andrea’s bio.

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