Staying Out of Trouble
Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech University School of Law
April 1, 2012
Estate Planning Studies, p. 1, April 2012
“This thorn in my side is from the tree I've planted.”
All it takes is one careless act to place you in the hot seat for months or years where you might watch your personal, professional, and financial life crumble around you.
An estate planner may become a defendant in a case involving an estate he or she planned in two main ways. First, the attorney may have performed his or her services in a negligent manner potentially creating exposure to malpractice liability. Second, the attorney’s conduct may have lapsed below ethically acceptable standards. This article reviews the exposure an estate planner may have to malpractice liability and then focuses the reader’s attention on ethical issues that may arise while preparing or executing the plan. By recognizing potentially troublesome areas, the reader will avoid the ramifications of drafting a flawed estate plan or having a lapse of ethical good judgment which may lead to the frustration of the client’s intent, financial loss to the client or the beneficiaries, personal embarrassment, and possible disciplinary action.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: legal malpractice, professional responsibility, privity, estate planning
JEL Classification: K11
Date posted: April 16, 2012