Wolfe, Smith, and Forster LLP (“WSF”) have been practicing law in the Fergus, Ontario area since 1931. The firm was already using NoticeConnect to advertise for creditors when they heard about how NoticeConnect’s Canada Will Registry can help with will vault management.
Like many firms in this area of practice, WSF amassed a large number of wills over the years. The will vault was organized using three separate systems: an internal system of pink index cards, a collection of binders with details of wills acquired from other law firms, and a scanned list handwritten and typed notes.
Using three separate systems to keep track of the firm’s wills made it difficult and time-consuming to look up client information, to update records, and to cross-reference the will index with searches for missing wills. Lawyers and clerks had to sift through binders and countless paper documents every time they needed to look something up.
NoticeConnect has been useful for looking up names in our Will Vault because they are under one list. It saves time searching for Wills and files for our own clients and clients from retired lawyers who hold their client’s documents with us.”
“NoticeConnect has been useful for looking up names in our Will Vault because they are under one list. It saves time searching for Wills and files for our own clients and clients from retired lawyers who hold their client’s documents with us.”
These challenges were compounded by COVID-19. When the firm implemented working-from-home, team members no longer had access to the physical cards and records they needed as they worked remotely.
Wolfe, Smith, and Forster’s goal was to “unify [their] three will systems” by joining the Canada Will Registry and make use of the free, cloud-based will vault management tools this includes.
WSF worked with NoticeConnect’s team to get set up on the Canada Will Registry.
The first step was to create a spreadsheet with information about all of the firm’s wills, including details such as testator name and storage location.
“We typed up some of them ourselves and NoticeConnect’s team taught us how to upload the information. We sent some of the difficult records to NoticeConnect for help which made the onboarding process simple… and simple is what we needed.”
WSF used their existing NoticeConnect account to activate their access to the Canada Will Registry. NoticeConnect helped the firm register their records while ensuring that sensitive client information was kept confidential and never crossed the border.
Joining the Canada Will Registry successfully consolidated WSF’s records into one easy-to-use will vault management system.
Switching to the Canada Will Registry has cut the time to search for client documents and information from 15 minutes to 60 seconds. Client records are easy to look up with a single search, providing the team with secure and efficient access to important data. Gone are the days of sifting through piles of unorganized documents. And now the firm receives an alert if someone is looking for a will in their vault.
Having used the Canada Will Registry for several months now, law clerk Tammy Cranston reports that access to all documents has increased productivity across the firm:
“It has increased productivity, especially with searching for client information. We have a lot of clients that come in looking for wills and it is so much easier to find what they are looking for with a quick search of our will vault.”
Communication across the firm and between clients has improved greatly because their wills are now securely registered and searchable with the will vault management tools.
“The Canada Will Registry is easy to use and so user-friendly.”