Who can compel the release of a will drafting lawyer’s file in the case of a challenge to a will?
The file of a will drafting lawyer is subject to solicitor-client privilege. The courts, however, have concluded that the deceased testator’s personal representative may choose to waive privilege on behalf of the deceased testator thereby compelling the release of the solicitor’s file, or alternatively, assert privilege thereby precluding the release of the solicitor’s file. That said, where the personal representative’s authority is in question, for example, where the validity of a will is being challenged thus placing the personal representative’s authority to assert or waive privilege in doubt, a court order is generally required to release the solicitor’s file.
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