As society becomes more complex in our relationships, so too do the considerations for lawyers working with clients in complex relationships. This paper highlights tips and traps for lawyers involved in estate planning for clients in undocumented relationships, such as extra-marital relationships or secret families. It outlines a number of different estate planning scenarios, and then provides suggestions and strategies for how to respond. A sample acknowledgement for a joint retainer for drafting wills is included as an appendix.
This paper is part of a collection presented at LESA’s Beyond Blended Families program in Edmonton on February 20, 2018 and in Calgary on February 28, 2018.