Learn how e-State Planner is responding to Covid-19
All of our practices have been impacted by social distancing and we want to help as much as we can. We’ve put together a package of resources which we hope can help you continue to run your estate practice from home in this time of crisis.
As well, we also understand there has been a financial impact to your practice. In what we hope may help a little, we have decided to make e-State Planner free, until September 8th, 2020. You will not be charged for any clients or usage. After September 8th, we've introduced new pricing plans. You can view them here.
1. Sign up for free access to e-State Planner. (Sign up here)
2. Downloadable documents and checklists.
- Remote Will Execution Checklist - Download
- Limited retainer - Download
- Holograph Will Checklist - Download
- Incorporation by Reference Checklist - Download
3. Sign up for our newsletter and blog.
We broke down our Wills and Estate planning process down into four key areas. Here’s how each area has been impacted, and how we’ve adapted to continue to run a virtual practice.
Usually we meet clients in person, but with that off the table now, we have to find new ways to talk with our clients to collect the information we need to create their Will. We suggest using software such as Zoom or Skype to meet clients remotely. Tools such as these allow you to meet face to face via video calls. Both are easy to use so you don’t need to worry about your client installing a software, they can use their phones. Virtual meeting software also allows you to record intake meetings so you can replay them later to ensure you’ve captured everything correctly.
Virtual meeting software, when coupled with e-State Planner, can help make those estate planning meetings much more efficient and effective.
Read our full blog on remote Will planning meetings.
Creating estate plans is usually something done behind the scenes after a client meeting. With e-State Planner, you can create the entire estate plan online and in front of the client. Using the intuitive interface, you can draft a simple or complex estate plan, in minutes and instantly show your client the implications of the decisions you’ve made together. e-State visual graphics makes every plan easy to understand. You can work through scenarios on your screen with the client present virtually.
We advise recording your intake meeting with the client, so you can go back to ensure your plan is the same as what was discussed in the meeting.
Generating Wills and POAs
Using desktop software in these times can be tough, especially if the desktop is located in another location such as an office which you need to travel to in order to access important paper files. Having your files online can provide you with a massive advantage enabling you to work from anywhere.
Not only will e-State Planner ensure you have thorough, accurate and complete plans, the software generates the Wills, and Power of Attorney documents. e-State Planner can also generate visual and text summaries of the will which you can give to your client within minutes of finishing the planning process. This ensures that they can understand what’s in their Will.
You no longer need to have access to an office printer or paper filing cabinets. You have all the information you need online, accessible from anywhere in the world. e-State Planner holds your client’s data for as long as you need it, on an encrypted database located in Canada. Using a cloud storage system will allow you to share and store the completed documents online.
If you ever need to make an amendment to a plan a few years down the road, you can easily open the file from anywhere, make the change and produce new documents in minutes.
What are our alternatives to having clients sign Wills when we can’t meet with them in person?
One of the options was to have client sign holograph Wills. While that may work with more straightforward instructions, it won’t be practical where testamentary trusts are necessary.
But there’s an alternate option – “incorporation by reference” of an unsigned “Will” into a holograph Will.
The terms of one document (“the Incorporated Document”) can be included in another document without repeating all of its provisions. This is known as “incorporation by reference”. In order to incorporate the terms of the Incorporated Document into a Will, there are four well established requirements:
- The Incorporated Document must be referred to in the Will;
- The reference in the Will to the Incorporated Document must be sufficient to identify the Incorporated Document; and
- The Incorporated Document must be in existence at the time the Will is signed. It cannot come into existence at a future date.
- The Incorporated Document must be “entirely separate and apart” from the Will.
Here is a link to a sample Client Instruction Sheet for your consideration. Use with caution!
Other Suggested software
- Google Sheets
- Google Docs
- Google Drive
- Microsoft Teams
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about our resources.