Trust and estate practice often sits at the intersection of money, aging clients, family drama, easy accusations of self-dealing and misdeeds, dispute – and anger. This turbulent combination of circumstances can put attorneys in difficult ethical spots. Questions about the competence of aging clients in combination with family drama can easily lead to ethical complaints and eventually litigation. There are also issues of decision-making authority and confidentiality if someone other than the client is paying for the representation.
Conflicts of interest, especially where a longtime client may gift something to the attorney, are rife.
This program provides a practical guide to substantial ethical issues in trust and estate practice.
- Working with clients with diminished capacity and protecting against challenges
- Confidentiality – understanding what information is confidential and when and to whom it can be disclosed
- Conflicts of interest – joint and common representations, husbands and wives, multiple generations of a family
- Gifts from clients – what lawyers may accept, what should they decline?
- Special issues when someone other than the client pays for a representation