In our fast-paced digital era, technology is transforming the legal landscape, and the way clients interact with their lawyer. Michael Liddiard, a lawyer who specializes in real estate, wills, estates, family law, and corporate law has seen how digital technology has not only streamlined traditional legal processes but has offered his clients unprecedented access, convenience, and efficiency.
Liddiard says, “With a virtual meeting tool, I can share my screen to allow my clients to see real-time information when I plug in data or search a client’s title.” The entire process becomes more transparent because clients can see potential problems and the steps Liddiard has taken to resolve them.
Software gives clients access to a secure portal where they can access information and upload relevant documents, something that is vitally important in contested legal matters such as family law.
In real estate transactions, technology has made life much easier. Michael Liddiard says 60% of his real estate clients are signing documents and meeting with him exclusively on their mobile devices. “If clients only have a 20-minute lunch break, we can meet face-to-face, share documents for a digital signature, while I’m fully advising my clients on the documents they are signing.” Ten years ago, completing a real estate transaction would mean a time-consuming trip to the courthouse. Today, Liddiard can handle such matters in minutes online.
Technology offers clients the flexibility and freedom to visit their lawyer at their convenience. If they have children at home, clients don’t even have to leave the house. Liddiard says, “Real estate transactions can feel rushed and sometimes things move very quickly. Knowing that you have access to your lawyer through your phone means you don’t have to schedule a meeting, weeks in advance to meet with me.”
A quicker real estate closing
Scheduling meetings sooner can facilitate faster transactions which could be critically important in a hot market. It doesn’t matter if clients are buying or selling in a different city. They can see their documents and meet with their lawyer wherever they are. Liddiard points out, “Knowing that they can meet with a lawyer online saves a lot of risk in that transaction.” If they have an internet connection, clients can meet with their lawyer anywhere.
If you must buy and sell on the same day, technology has vastly improved the way money moves. Liddiard says, “I find that in my practice, if a client is buying and selling on the same day and I receive the sale funds later in the day, I can send a wire transfer, which for the most part will be an instantaneous delivery of funds. Same day buying and selling requires a firm that has access to these digital platforms and online tools.” There are no unnecessary delays standing in a bank branch line waiting to certify or deposit a cheque. Liddiard adds, “As soon as the funds arrive, I’m able to register the sale, close the sale transaction, and submit the funds to obtain the purchase property.”
Wills and estates
Technology has streamlined the wills and estates process as well. Clients can give virtual declarations, write digital signatures for certificates of appointment of estate trustee, for a document that allows the land to be sold.
“Getting the documents to a lawyer and ensuring that everything is prepared, can feel a bit overwhelming,” says Liddiard, “But when that process can happen online, it minimizes the frequency of interaction and being organized virtually before meeting in person allows for more effective client appointments.” Digital technology allows for shorter appointments and can mean a quicker turnaround time at the courthouse.
Corporate and business law
Corporate law has benefitted tremendously from digitization. One of the best innovations has been the virtual minute book. Business owners can now access the minute book online without having to pay their lawyer to see it at the law office. Michael Liddiard encourages business owners to consider a digital minute book, “If they haven’t digitized their practice or they’re looking at incorporating, working with a lawyer who has these digital tools will benefit them in the long run.” For a business owner wanting to incorporate, the Ontario Business Registry has created an online system that is more cost effective in that it allows lawyers to facilitate business owners in their annual filings.
Giving back to the community
Last year, Michael Liddiard, along with his brother and father, founded a youth athletics program called Niagara Youth Need Sports. The charity raises money for families to help them cover the cost of organized sports. To date, Niagara Youth Need Sports has helped dozens of families and would like to expand the non-profit into Halton Region. Liddiard believes it’s important to give back to the community.
Seamless access to legal services
Michael Liddiard wants the community to know how easy it is to connect with a lawyer. His law offices in Burlington and St. Catharines are well suited for people with busy lives, since he has a digital solution to ensure clients receive timely legal services no matter what legal issues they’re facing.
Thinking about buying or selling a property and would like to know what the legal process will look like? Setting up a virtual appointment is a low-risk transaction. You don’t have to leave your home or take time away from work. Michael Liddiard says, “You shouldn’t delay getting legal advice or preparing a will because the flexibility of digital technology makes it very convenient. If you want to connect with a lawyer regardless of where you’re located, please give me a call.”
Michael Liddiard would be happy to meet with potential clients to learn about their situations and to offer strategies and tools to help them meet their goals. He understands the time constraints faced by people with busy lives and he has adapted his services to make the legal process as convenient as possible.
Article originally published on: Burlington Today