Er, yes, we know what we are doing… (in case you are nervous)
Before diverting into family law and court work, and while employed as a staff solicitor 20 years ago, Cheryl (owner of Kiwilaw) did a lot of probate and basic estate-administration work. She learnt the forms and the principles, and incidentally came up with basic mail-merge templates to make it easier and faster.
She prepared applications to the Maori Land Court for succession, as well as applications to the High Court for probate and letters of administration. (She recalls trying to explain to Registrar Earles why she slightly altered the wording of an affidavit supporting an application for probate: it made better sense, and in Professionals she was encouraged not to slavishly follow precedent, and the Maori Land Court always seemed to appreciate her improvements on Maori Land Court forms and she didn’t realise the High Court would be different.)
Because there was a dearth of reference material available to help a new law graduate make sense of Maori estates, and one of her former lecturers challenged her to fill the gap herself instead of complaining about it, she researched and wrote a chapter on ‘Maori wills and succession’ for a LexisNexis reference publication (in which Registrar Earles wrote a separate chapter), which she updated for several years. Her analysis sometimes contradicted usual practice. (On one occasion she was gratified to learn that the interpretation in her commentary was upheld by the High Court against the views of a more widely recognised ‘expert’.)
And then she did no more in that area, except for litigation about contested wills or estates.
Until now. When she is interested more in providing affordable legal services than in fighting clients’ litigious battles that unduly divert emotional and financial resources from families.
For probate applications, therefore, she has updated her knowledge, dusted off her enthusiasm, and implemented some new systems designed to streamline the process and lower the costs.
She started by using online forms, transcribing the data into Access, and using Word mail merge to create the documents. Now she uses automated online interviews that also create draft documents, without needing to re-enter data. This is possible thanks to autom.io – world-leading software developed in New Zealand and now used internationally.
There’s no catch – you do the routine work yourself and pay only for genuine legal work.
Page updated 12 February 2019