Online Attorney-Client Agreement
Customized Digital Estate Plan - Married Couple
1. PARTIES AND FORMATION OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT AGREEMENT: This Attorney-Client agreement has been entered into between the client who acknowledges this agreement ("Client") and authorizes Michael E. Byczek, an Illinois attorney, ("Attorney") to represent him/her/them, and Attorney, who has agreed to provide Client the below described legal services.
This written agreement is provided to Client through the Attorney's online store (www.byczeklaw.com) as part of a virtual legal office. Client was informed prior to sending payment to read and acknowledge this agreement. Confirmation of acknowledgement shall be sent via email to both Attorney and Client after Client enters his/her name through a website form and clicks the submit button.
An attorney-client relationship does not exist until both payment is received and this attorney-client agreement is acknowledged. If Client sends payment without acknowledging this agreement, Attorney shall provide an opportunity for Client to do so both online and in paper-format.
CLIENT IS INFORMED NOT TO SEND PAYMENT UNLESS ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT HE/SHE UNDERSTANDS THE LEGAL SERVICES BEING REQUESTED AND THAT THESE SERVICES ARE ONLY AVAILABLE TO ILLINOIS RESIDENTS.
Attorney shall provide Client with every reasonable opportunity to acknowledge the attorney-client agreement if payment is sent first.
2. SCOPE OF LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Client represents that they are a married couple and intend to write their Will as part of an estate plan as residents of the State of Illinois. Under this attorney-client agreement, Attorney shall provide Client with documents for one-time personal use. Representation ends when all documents are delivered to Client.
For purposes of an online web-based attorney-client written agreement, each spouse is required to submit a separate agreement. One spouse may assume responsibility for communication, but each must separately acknowledge they have entered into an attorney-client agreement.
Attorney shall provide Client with two fully customized Wills, one for each spouse. It is intended that these two Wills match and correspond to each other to the fullest extent possible. Each Will has a corresponding Digital Estate Plan. These two documents are meant to convey Client's final wishes regarding his/her digital footprint and digital afterlife along with traditional estate plan instructions (such as property distribution).
After payment is received, Client shall be given access to a secure file sharing and collaboration platform. It is through this collaborative platform that Attorney shall request the necessary details to complete the Wills. The finalized documents shall be uploaded to the collaborative platform for Client to securely download the files. All documents and files that are part of these legal services are transferred between Attorney and Client through a secure collaborative file sharing platform. Private information, such as passwords, are left blank for Client to complete afterwards. Attorney does not require, and Client is advised not to disclose, anything that is private.
The Will shall include a mandatory notary section to prevent online fraud. The document is not legal or effective until the document is notarized. A notary is not required by law, but Michael E. Byczek includes the provision to prevent identity theft. Instead of only notarizing the last page of a multi-page document (if applicable), having each page individually notarized offers the best precaution against somebody switching pages.
The Wills shall also include a notarized self-proving affidavit for two witnesses. Client is advised to notarize two copies to have a spare copy, such as giving one copy to a family member for safekeeping.
3. LIMITATION OF ATTORNEY DUTIES: Attorney shall, through professional courtesy, answer reasonable questions from Client about the documents. Attorney shall not answer any question that extends beyond clarification or constitutes general legal advice about an estate plan. Client acknowledges that they are otherwise solely responsible for completing any blank provisions, having the document witnessed, notarizing each page, and having the two witnesses notarize a separate affidavit. Client further acknowledges that after death, the Will must be submitted to Probate Court. Attorney shall not handle any of these acts, unless a separate agreement is signed. Under this agreement, Attorney shall only provide a Will. Attorney shall not provide any additional legal services once Client receives the uncompleted document. Client expressly acknowledges that they should update the Will regularly, and that Attorney shall not provide any updates without a new agreement and fee.
4. LEGAL FEES: Client shall pay Attorney an upfront flat-fee of $199 prior to delivery of the above described documents. All documents shall be delivered via a secure collaborative file sharing platform.
The $199 fee is the total for both Wills, even though each spouse is required to submit their own agreement. Only one payment of $199 is required. It doesn't matter which spouse sends the single payment.
5. CLIENT REPRESENTATIONS: Client represents that they are writing their own personal estate plan and intend to use the documents obtained from Attorney for lawful purposes.
Prospective clients are instructed not to request legal services, sign this agreement, or send any payment if they are not writing the estate plan for themselves.
An attorney cannot be required to engage in conduct which is illegal, unethical, or fraudulent. An attorney who cannot ethically abide by a client's directions shall be allowed to withdraw from representation.
6. TERMINATION OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP: Client may terminate this agreement at any time for any reason through written notice. Attorney reserves the right to withdraw from representing Client in certain limited circumstances, such as Client's refusal to provide requested information.
7. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ATTORNEY AND CLIENT: Client consents for Attorney to contact them through text message, phone call, email, social media, or postal service. All notices that are required by this agreement shall be in writing, which includes email. Digital signatures satisfy any signature requirement. Client shall be truthful in all discussions with Attorney and provide all information or documentation required to enable Attorney to provide competent representation. Client shall provide Attorney with changes to contact details.
8. GENERAL PROVISIONS: This written contract represents the entire agreement between the parties. Client acknowledges having read and understood the entire document. The contract cannot be amended or modified except in writing and acknowledged by all parties. Any dispute shall be reviewed pursuant to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules (Article VIII - Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010).
CLIENT INFORMATION: Client is advised not to accept any agreement that Client finds to be unsatisfactory or does not understand.
ATTORNEY INFORMATION: Attorney shall provide competent representation, which requires legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation to handle those matters set forth in the written engagement agreement. Once employed, Attorney shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness, as well as use best efforts on behalf of Client, but cannot guarantee results. During the course of representation and afterwards, Attorney may not use or reveal a client's confidence or secrets, except as required or permitted by law.
Michael E. Byczek, Attorney at Law
(Sole Practitioner licensed in Illinois)
Po Box 5983
Chicago, IL 60680-5983
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