Preparing a Revocable Trust? Prepare for a Malpractice Claim, Too

Even highly competent attorneys who conscientiously meet their responsibilities may face the threat of malpractice. And this threat is very real for attorneys who prepare revocable trusts.    A malpractice claim can arise from a revocable trust that carries out the client’s wishes to the letter but appears to a disappointed beneficiary to be contrary to the client’s intent. Or an estate plan that reflects the client’s informed decision to gamble for a particular tax advantage may appear as malpractice to a beneficiary who suffers adverse tax consequences. In each of these situations, and in most malpractice claims against estate planning attorneys, the attorney faces a double whammy: It has been years since the attorney completed the work for the client and memory fades, and the client is dead and can’t articulate his or her wishes or whether the attorney properly advised the client of the risks of these wishes. But there are…

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