I walk into the conference room and introduce myself to the pleasant older man seated there. According to the client intake, he’s here to talk to me about a will. He’s given me sufficient information, and I only have a few follow-up questions.
As I sit, I notice he has some documents with him. Now, normally, a free initial consultation is not the appropriate time to review documents. There usually isn't sufficient time in a 15-30 minute consultation to ask questions and review documents while giving a clear, concise and accurate read of a case. These things can’t, and shouldn’t, be rushed. In this case, however, since this is an appointment for the drafting of a will, I want to review what he has. If it’s a prior will, that becomes the starting point for our work.
I review the documents and, somewhat puzzled, notice that they are not signed.
“I notice that these documents are not signed. Are these draft documents?”
“Oh yes, I’ve been meaning to bring them back. These are the drafts you sent me to review.”
“Ok. Let me pull your file. I’ll be right back.”
As I walk back to my office, I’m thinking… I don’t recognize the client, but then again, I don’t have the world’s best memory. Normally, we draft the documents, send them to the client for review, make any necessary corrections, and then set up the will signing. However, this was not set up as a will signing but as an initial consultation, so I'm curious.
I get to my desk, check the computer and note that, sure enough, we drafted the will and sent it to him for review.
Back in 2003.
I walk back to the conference room, and not even thinking, I ask, “So, have you had time to review it?”