Do You Realize That Estate Planning
and Administration Are Growing
Targets of Litigation?
This is Philip Kavesh, President of The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. and estate planning attorney. Let me tell you a shocking true story. I attended a State Bar conference, mistakenly entered the wrong lunch room and heard the speaker declare something to the effect of: “Fellow litigators, I’m pleased to announce the newest burgeoning area of litigation - - estate planning and trust and estate administration!” (Needless to say, I had great difficulty eating lunch after hearing that!)
Unfortunately, what I’ve seen in my own practice has confirmed this sorry state of affairs. Ten years ago, beneficiaries hardly ever “lawyered-up”. Now, I find that at least one beneficiary is represented by separate counsel - - who, often turns out to be in many estate administrations a litigator, not an estate planning attorney!
Many factors have contributed to this:
- Clients are living much longer with diminished capacity and incapacity - - and many actions by the client, attorney and trustee may be called into question
- Many more families are “blended,” with children of more than one marriage fighting between each other and with the surviving spouse
- More sophisticated estate planning over the last 20 years has included more continuing trusts for beneficiaries - - who don’t like being “ruled from the grave”!
- Many “younger generation” beneficiaries are spenders rather than savers, like their parents, and seek to get “every last penny they’re entitled to”!
As an estate planner, you’ve got to be concerned about and prepared for many issues you didn’t have before - - otherwise, you may be pulled into an action against the trustee or executor!
Learn how to be properly prepared.
Join us for a special 3-part series entitled, “Avoiding Malpractice and Handling Beneficiary Conflict”, presented by renowned estate and trust litigator, as well as estate planning attorney, Marshal Oldman, J.D.
These extremely informational and practical 90-minute presentations will cover:
Part 1: Avoiding the Critical Malpractice Issues
- Estate Planning Malpractice
- Cases imposing liability in favor of third party beneficiaries
- The statute of limitations or the lack thereof
- Problems of ethics conflicts, or not properly understanding and working with your clients
- Failure to anticipate problems
- Actions that do and do not lead to malpractice exposure
- Trust and estate administration
- Participating in the breach of trust
- The big Conflict problem - - the notion of “the family attorney”
- Failure to advise the right parties regarding deadlines
- Issues arising out of litigation
- No contest clauses - - fact or fiction?
Part 2: Proper Defense of the Trustee
- Spotting problems before they become serious and advising the trustee
- Accounting issues
- Removal issues and conflicts of interest
- Third party disputes - - should the creditor’s claim procedure be used?
- Allocation of legal fees for defense of the trustee
- Use of mediation to find solutions to disputes over the trustee’s actions
Part 3: How to Handle Family Disputes
- Anticipating disputes in the planning process
- No contest claims
- Separating the disputing parties with life insurance
- Documenting the testator’s desires
- Designating the trustee
- Disputes in the administration process
- Advising the family member trustee
- Attempting to include family members into building a consensus
- Using court petitions for instruction and notices of proposed action
- No contest clauses
- Dividing the estate to avoid tying disputing family members together
- Handling the contest or other litigation when filed
- And much, much more!