I offer in-home Will and Power of Attorney preparation services in the region of Greater Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Fees and Legal Services (PDF)
You know it is important to have a valid current Will and Power of Attorney, but you may not be sure about hiring a lawyer to prepare your Will and Power of Attorney.
You may be surprised to learn that, with some prior preparation, your Will and Power of Attorney planning package can be completed for the equivalent or less than the cost of home or car repairs, veterinarian care of a family pet, a couple of rounds of golf or a gym membership and definitely less often.
The difficulty most lawyers have in quoting a flat fee or an estimate over the phone prior to meeting a client is that particular information received from you can require additional investigation, research and legal work. Our ethical and professional responsibilities in the legal system require that we know our client, fully explore your personal situation and provide appropriate legal and tax advice for you and your beneficiaries.
A flat fee package may not be appropriate for clients in certain situations, including:
- You or other close family members have legal ties (citizenship or former residence) in the United States or the UK;
- You own assets outside New Brunswick;
- More extensive financial and tax planning would greatly benefit your Estate Plan and ultimately, your beneficiaries, related to a business or other special assets or a family situation;
- Your Will should include longer-term trusts for minors or persons with special needs and other directions that require extensive drafting and review; and
- The maker of the Will or Power of Attorney has complicated health issues requiring assessment of mental capacity to ensure the Will and Power of Attorney will be upheld as valid and to minimize future conflict and disputes.
For most individual clients without additional special requirements, a Will and Power of Attorney planning package can be completed for an amount ranging from $250 to $500 plus HST and for couples from $500 to $1,000 plus HST.
This Will and Power of Attorney planning package includes an initial consultation by telephone or e-mail, two face to face meetings to review completed questionnaires, discuss and organize your plan, prepare the first version of your documents, make changes, execute the final version as well as delivery of the final documents.
- In our first contact, I identify any potential conflicts of interest and discuss your request.
- I will provide you with a questionnaire to complete in advance of our meeting and any general information that may relate to your situation.
- We will set up a meeting at your home or other location convenient for you.
- At the end of our first face to face meeting, I will confirm the fee I will charge upon completion of the file.
- If, in my determination, the services you require are more specialized or risky, I will provide you with a quote before you commit to any obligation.
- There is no charge for the first meeting, if you decide not to continue retaining my legal services.
I will not be your lawyer until I provide you with a signed retainer letter.
I also offer planning seminars and workshops for small groups. Call and ask me about “Live with Care, Die Prepared.”
Retainer information (PDF)
TO: You, my prospective client or clients
These are standard retainer terms when I provide legal services.
Authority to Act
You have asked me to act on your behalf in connection with your estate planning, including:
- the preparation of a Will (with Affidavit of Execution);
- one or more Powers of Attorney (Property \ Personal Care); and
- one or more Letters of Direction and Authority.
I will meet with you alone in the privacy of your home. The information you provide me is confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone, except as required by law, as ordered by a Court or where waived by you in view of conflict of interest issues.
Together we will review the Information Questionnaire, any existing Will and Power of Attorney, discuss your options and organize your plan. I will confirm in writing the legal fees, disbursements and HST to be charged.
I will prepare draft documents and send them to you by e-mail \ mail for review. Once you are satisfied with the documents, we will set up an appointment to sign the documents. I will bring a Witness with me as required by law.
I will then provide an invoice in accordance with the fee I have quoted. Once the account is paid, I will provide you with a final report, the original documents and further information and advice appropriate to your situation.
In order to sign a Will and Power of Attorney, there are certain legal capacity thresholds that a client must meet. If I have any concerns about a client’s ability to validly execute a document, it may be necessary to recommend additional steps be taken before proceeding. This may require additional charges. If, after further investigation, I determine it is not possible to execute the documents, I will advise you and close the file.
If there are other legal issues that arise during the preparation of these documents, I may refer you to other lawyers or professionals to complete those matters.
Potential Conflict of Interest
If I am preparing documents for more than one family member, even if everyone has common objectives and wishes to preserve positive family relations, it is always possible that, now or in the future, your interests may be in conflict with one another.
If a conflict develops that cannot be resolved, I cannot continue to act for anyone and may have to withdraw completely. There are ethical and professional duties that apply in such circumstances that may require further investigation and discussion.
Retention: I will keep all information received in connection with this matter for as long as I consider necessary notwithstanding that it is completed. All documents, notes and forms will be archived electronically. I am not able to store any original documents. We will discuss how to protect these important items during our meeting.
Reliance: I am relying on the accuracy of the information you provide either directly or through your advisors and family. I may also receive information, confidential or otherwise, from other professionals and family members. I may also undertake searches of public registries to confirm information that you provide me.
Disclosure: I may request that you specifically authorize me to discuss your estate planning with your advisors. You also authorize me to release information concerning you to your attorneys or executors, and if necessary your beneficiaries, following death.
Communicating with you by E-Mail
There are risks associated with communicating by Internet email, including the lack of security, unreliability of delivery, and possible loss of confidentiality and privilege. Unless you request that I do not communicate by email, you accept that these risks exist and no responsibility or liability will be attributed in respect of risk associated with its use.
I will provide draft documents as a password-protected PDF attachment to the email. Your password is provided to you at your initial appointment.
Please ask me for an explanation if you have any questions.