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Post on January 8th, 2019

The areas of probate, trust and estate planning continue to top the list for legal malpractice claims.  It’s no secret that we’re seeing the largest transfer of wealth ever with the maturing of the “Baby Boomer” generation.

Here are some Practice Tips for probate practitioners to avoid common claims:

  • Address conflicts of interest
    • Always run a conflicts of interest check
    • Avoid even an appearance of a conflict, especially when dealing with multiple family members
    • Use a well-prepared engagement letter to clarify who the lawyer is representing and who is NOT being represented
  • Use the correct Probate Forms
  • Pay careful attention to Ohio requirements on execution and witnessing of documents
  • Know your local Probate Rules
  • Be diligent and allow sufficient time to complete legal work
    • Recognize that events such as illness, accident or death may prevent the client from realizing her/his plans
    • Carefully consider and evaluate capacity See Rule 1.14
  • Don’t get in over your head!

For more information, see Probate Do’s & Don’ts

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OBLIC!

Gretchen Koehler Mote, Esq.,
Director of Loss Prevention