Q: I have been trying to get my parents to plan their estates. My mom is ready to go but my dad won’t even discuss it. Can my mom plan without my father being involved? Would it make more sense to convince him that this must be done?
A: In order to maintain my good standing with the Bar, I attend a lot of Continuing Legal Educations seminars (CLEs). Whenever this subject comes up, we are cautioned to be careful when representing a couple. A lot of times they tell us that it’s a good practice to make sure both parties in a marriage have their own counsel. I think the concern is even married people’s interests are not always the same.
I understand the concern potential conflicts of interests can and do on occasion arise. However, the times when I believed conflicts could arise were pretty apparent from the get go and I’ve carefully avoided them before I got involved.
If interested in discussing estate planning/asset protection, you can contact Laura Bianchi, Chair of RLG’s Estate Planning/Asset Protection Department, @ firstname.lastname@example.org