This webinar comprises 3 one-hour sessions covering each of the compulsory CPD subjects for succession lawyers for the CPD year ending 31 March 2019.
Session 1: Legal Ethics: Ethical Dilemmas in Maintaining Confidentiality in Wills and Estates Matters
Maintaining confidentiality is a fundamental component of the solicitor / client relationship. However, difficult ethical conundrums can arise in practice, particularly in succession law matters.
This session looks at the key challenges in meeting confidentiality and ethics requirements, including:
- Confidentiality obligations to potential clients
- Complying with solicitor conduct rules on confidentiality
- Dealing with forced disclosure - statutory notices and legal demands for information
- Can an executor demand your will instruction file?
- Confidentiality and managing risk in cyberspace
- Disclosing information to protect client – confidentiality in emergency situations
- What are exceptions to the duty of confidentiality?
- Confidentiality issues and providing information to a court or tribunal about a client’s lack of mental capacity
Session 2: Professional Skills: Preparing Wills with Precision: The Drafting Toolkit for Succession Lawyers
Will drafting has become an increasingly difficult task – family dynamics, complicated asset structures and tax considerations all play a part in raising the complexities. It’s vital practitioners minimise the risks of future disputes by removing ambiguity and drafting with precision. This session looks at the tips and traps to drafting wills and the key things to consider, including:
- Drafting the appointment and succession of executors
- Defining the beneficiaries correctly
- Drafting with the statutory rules of interpretation in mind
- Drafting conditional gifts
- Specific gifts and residuary gifts
- Drafting gifts to charity
- Drafting difficult dispositions – life interests, and rights of residence
- Lessons from In the Will of Thomas Henry Finch (dec'd)  QSC 16 (13 February 2018)
Session 3: Practice Management & Business Skills: Running a Succession Law Practice: Facing the Competing Challenges Head-on
It’s never been more difficult to be a succession lawyer. On the one hand, clients are demanding bottom dollar prices for “products”, such as pro forma wills, and an increasing number of players are entering the online legal services market. On the other hand, the judiciary seem to be increasing the regulatory burdens on the profession and the demands from insurers seem to be getting higher.
This session examines how to manage these competing tensions and covers:
- Review of the range of business models for succession law products and services
- Implications of and responses to competition from other professions, and from online
- Identifying your competitive advantage/fit within the market
- ‘Products’ versus ‘services’ in the succession law space – why the distinction is important
- Judiciary and insurer expectations – understanding a practitioner’s legal obligations and regulatory burdens
- Ethical challenges facing practitioners in meeting client cost expectations