Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Legal Malpractice for California

Q: Is there a conflict of interest when a lawyer supports beneficiaries' efforts to dissolve his clients' irrevocable trust

In 1998, he created a QPRT for them, which owns their home. Their three adult children are beneficiaries. Two of the beneficiaries don't like the idea of inheriting a house without a step-up in basis. The lawyer wrote to the third, who is the successor trustee, to tell her that, and also that, if all beneficiaries agree, the trust can be dissolved. Would she agree? But the trust also states that the home cannot be sold while any trustor is alive. The trustee believes her brother, with power of attorney already in hand, would sell the house and move the trustors into some other kind of housing, over-riding their lifelong plans, to wash his hands of hassles. (HA!) She plans to buy her siblings out, not sell. In June, the lawyer helped transfer a RE asset of his clients' revocable trust, worth $250K, to the brother, harming the other two beneficiaries of that trust and also his clients (of diminished capacity), as their investments are almost gone and a steep decline in income looms.

1 Lawyer Answer

Joel Gary Selik

Answered
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes there is a conflict of interest, but it is the transferring of the asset that is the most immediate serious issue.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.