can the lawyer who draws up the will be the executor?

by Layne Schmidt 3 min read

Similarly, an attorney cannot require you to designate him or her as the Executor. Of course, you may always execute a new Will at any time, whether or not you have previously designated your attorney as the Executor. As with all aspects of your estate plan, changes should be considered periodically as your circumstances change.

Full Answer

Can my attorney be the executor of my will?

A lawyer asked to serve as drafter and executor should give their client enough information to make an informed decision. Certainly, the lawyer should tell the client of the lawyer’s potential interest in the arrangement, including collection of executor fees. The lawyer should explain that those fees may be on top of any legal fees for drafting.

Why hire an attorney executor or trustee for an estate?

Oct 28, 2018 · Attorney as executor. Per the American Bar Association, if you feel that none of your family members or friends possess the requisite financial skills to properly act as your executor, you may wish to designate your attorney instead. Not only has (s)he probably worked with you for years to help you set up your estate plan, (s)he also is well qualified to take your …

Can an estate attorney represent the beneficiary of a will?

How do I Choose an executor for my estate?

What is the importance of choosing an executor?

Remember that choosing your executor wisely is just as important as making your Last Will and Testament in the first place. The person you choose bears grave responsibilities that will impact your family and other heirs after you die. This is educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

What are the duties of an executor in probate?

Bear in mind that your executor will have many duties while taking your estate through probate, including the following: Gathering your estate assets together. Inventorying and valuing those assets. Managing and protecting the assets during probate. Paying valid claims against your estate.

What happens when you make a last will and testament in California?

As you likely already know, when you make a Last Will and Testament in California, in addition to naming the heirs who you want to receive your property upon your death, you also appoint an executor to carry out your wishes when the time comes.

Can an attorney be an executor?

Attorney as executor. Per the American Bar Association, if you feel that none of your family members or friends possess the requisite financial skills to properly act as your executor, you may wish to designate your attorney instead .

What are the potential conflicts with the executor?

In addition to potential conflicts over Executor compensation and/or attorney fees, other conflicts may arise from the designation of the attorney as the Executor, including potential conflicts with other family members who may also be clients of the attorney. It is recommended that the attorney send you a written confirmation ...

Can an attorney be a witness to a will?

In order to avoid the appearance of impropriety, the attorney may elect not to be a witness to the Will. In some cases, another attorney may be asked to handle the execution of the Will, or another notary public may be asked to acknowledge your signature.

Can an executor be a co-executor?

Whether or not the attorney is designated as the Executor or as a Co-Executor, another attorney may be retained to represent the Estate. Most clients anticipate that the designated attorney will serve as both the Executor and counsel to the Estate, unless another attorney is needed for any reason, such as counsel to handle ...

Does New Hampshire have a standard commission for executors?

Although professional fiduciaries generally publish a fee schedule for their services, New Hampshire does not have a standard commission for Executors. You should ask how your attorney will charge for services as the Executor. Under New Hampshire law, Executor compensation is subject to Court approval. If an Estate is closed informally ...

Is executor compensation subject to court approval?

Under New Hampshire law, Executor compensation is subject to Court approval. If an Estate is closed informally through a motion for summary administration, however, these fees will be subject only to the approval of the beneficiaries of the Estate.

Can an attorney be an executor?

Stricter disclosure rules will apply if an attorney solicits a designation as the Executor of your Estate. Attorneys cannot ethically include themselves as an Executor or successor Executor without your informed consent. Similarly, an attorney cannot require you to designate him or her as the Executor. Of course, you may always execute ...

Is it a good idea to ask the same attorney to draft a will?

Because of conflict of interest scenarios that could arise,asking the same attorney to draft your will and serve as your executor is not a good idea.Similarly,asking your attorney to draft a trust agreement and serve as your trustee is not a good idea.

Can an attorney be an executor of a trust?

However,you can ask another attorney to serve as your executor or trustee. Attorneys are often great candidates for serving as fiduciaries of your estate planning documents and they can administer your trust property or dispose of your assets under your will according to your wishes.In each state, a legal ethical board will establish ethical rules ...

What can an attorney do for an executor?

The attorney can also be of great assistance in helping the executor perform the required tasks, such as: Managing an estate takes a lot of time. Many executors are not experienced at handling business, financial or legal matters.

Who is the executor of a will?

The executor of a will is chosen by the testator at the time of the making of the will. Most people like to appoint a family member such as a surviving spouse or child to handle their estate after their death. So it is not unusual for a sole beneficiary to also be appointed as the executor of a decedent’s estate.

What is the role of an estate lawyer in New York?

A New York probate and estate lawyer to help them with the administration and management of the estate.

Can a decedent name a beneficiary?

The decedent may also choose to name a sole beneficiary and another unrelated family member who may have more time, or who is better qualified and has more experience in handling business and financial matters as co-executors to share tasks or certain responsibilities.

Can a sole beneficiary be appointed as executor?

So it is not unusual for a sole beneficiary to also be appointed as the executor of a decedent’s estate. When there is a large estate with assets that need management, the testator sometimes appoints a neutral a third party such as an attorney or a financial institution to act as a co-executor.

Who do you turn over a will to?

In most states, the law requires anyone who has possession of a will to promptly turn it over to the executor named in the will or to the local probate court. The local probate court. It's not common, but some people deposit their wills with the probate court while they're still alive. The legal community.

What happens if you don't find a will?

If your best efforts don't uncover a will, it's not a problem. Other documents—for example, living trusts, pay-on-death beneficiary designations, or joint ownership deeds—will give you at least some of the instructions you need, and state law will supply the rest.

What is a codicil in a will?

A codicil is a document that revises or adds to a will. These days, codicils are rare. Most wills are created on computers, so people who want to change something commonly make a whole new will, which takes the place of all earlier ones.

What to do if a bank won't cooperate?

If the bank won't cooperate, you can ask the probate court for an order allowing you access to the box only for the purpose of finding the will. (If you don't know whether or not the deceased person rented a box, call the banks where the person had accounts.) The deceased person's lawyer.

What to do if you don't know the name of a lawyer?

If you don't know the lawyer's name, go through checkbooks for the last few years and look for payments to an individual lawyer or firm. If you know the lawyer's name but don't have an address or phone number, call the state bar association or check its website.

What to do if someone has a will but is hiding it?

If you have good reason to think that someone has the will but intends to hide it, you can sue to force the person to file the will. A lawyer should be able to help you assess your likelihood of success. Obviously, someone up to no good might promptly "lose" the will if pressured.

Do you have to give consent to a lawyer to text you?

You are not required to provide consent as a condition of service. Attorneys have the option, but are not required, to send text messages to you. You will receive up to 2 messages per week from Martindale-Nolo. Frequency from attorney may vary.

James P. Frederick

I agree with you that this is not very professional conduct. One potential reason for this is that the attorney represents the executor and NOT the beneficiaries. So the attorney needs to be careful not to reveal any confidential information.

Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr

I agree with the previous answers. Estates often have multiple beneficiaries and the attorney has ethical problems if he tries to represent all of them. You should send your questions in writing instead of making phone calls-the attorney should reply with an answer or advising you he cannot answer because of conflict.

Paula Brown Sinclair

First of all, the estate attorney does not represent the beneficiary, and has no ethical obligation to respond directly to him. Estate attorneys or their staff sometimes do so as a matter to courtesy for simple or brief questions, or when instructed to do so by the executor, who is the real client.