Navigating & Mitigating Ethical Conflicts in Estate Administration & Planning

This presentation given by Trustate founder and CEO Leah Del Percio, will go over the different types of intrafamilial conflicts that estate attorneys typically face, and how they can employ strategies to mitigate them. Ms. Del Percio covers many important topics, including understanding how conflicts are presented, how to spot conflicts, and how to handle them in an ethical manner.

Learning Objectives:

    1. Identify what conflicts might present themselves in the context of an attorney's trusts & estates practice.
    2. Explore the various types of conflicts and how they arise in the estate law context, and the implications and potential consequences for them.
    3. Determine how to handle conflicts, including deciding whether or not they are waivable, as well as the mechanics of a conflict waiver in common scenarios for estate lawyers.


  • Navigating and Mitigating Ethical Conflicts in Estate Administration and Planning
    • Speaker Bio
    • Important Note: Professional Rules Vary Across Jurisdictions

  • Why Are We Talking About This?
    • 11% of Attorney Misconduct Legal Malpractice Claims Relate to Estates, Trusts, and Probate

  • Conflicts - What Are They?
    • Definition of Conflicts of Interest in Legal Representation

  • Types of Conflicts
    • Concurrent/Successive
    • Direct Conflict
    • Indirect Conflict
    • Lawyer-Client Duties to 3rd Parties
    • Imputed Conflicts
    • The Diseased Lawyer and Firm Conflicts

  • Typical Conflicts That Arise in Representation
    • Concurrent Conflicts
    • Successive Conflicts
    • Direct Conflict
    • Indirect Conflict
    • Actual Conflict
    • Imputed Conflicts
    • Personal Conflict

  • Common Conflict Scenarios in Estate Administration

  • Representing Spouses
    • Confidences Imparted by One Joint Client

  • Reasons Conflicts Arise
    • New Client
    • Divulging Facts to an Expert (So That He Can’t Represent Other Side)
    • New Matter With an Existing Client
    • New Issue in a Litigation
    • New Parties Enter Litigation Mid-stream (Impleader, Joinder)
    • New Attorney Joins a Firm
    • Relationships With Adversary
    • Lawyer Becomes Witness
    • Lawyer Has Adverse Financial Interest

  • Most Common - New Client
    • Estate Lawyers Often Represent Families
    • Conflicts of Interest Can Prohibit Representation of Multiple Family Members

  • Waivable Conflicts

  • Non-waivable in Estate Context

  • Questions to Raise
    • Capacity and Connectivity

  • Impact of Conflicts
    • Consequences of Conflicts of Interest
      • Discipline: Reprimand, Sanctions, Suspension, Disbarment
      • Disqualification
      • Rule 11 Sanctions
      • Malpractice Liability

  • Conflicts Ethical Guidelines
    • Current Clients
    • Former Clients
    • Law Firm vs. Attorney
    • Concurrent Conflicts
    • Former Clients
      • Dormant Representation
    • Law Firms & imputed Conflicts

  • Handling Conflicts
    • Avoiding Conflicts
    • Dealing With Conflicts That Arise
      • Disclose All Potential Conflicts to
        • Determine if Waivable

  • Determining Wheter Conflict is Waivable

  • Handling Intergenerational Client Conflicts

  • Mechanics of Conflict Waiver
    • Inadvertent Waiver
    • Prohibition on Blanket Waiver

  • Elements of Waiver
    • Full Disclosure
    • Potential Consequences
    • Voluntary Consent
    • Acknowledgment of Understanding
    • Right to Revoke Consent
    • Presentation of Alternative Options
    • Client Signature

  • Mitigating Conflicts

  • Hypothetical Scenario: The Attorney as Fiduciary
    • Potential Ethical Dilemmas
Topics covered include: Ethics
Duration of this webinar: 60 minutes
Originally broadcast: November 03, 2023 12:00 PM PT
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits

*CLE credit is only available to Justia Connect Pros. Not a Pro? Upgrade today>>

California CLE

Status: Approved

Credits: 1.0 Legal Ethics

Earn Credit Until: November 02, 2025

Looking for CLE credit? Visit CLE Center CLE Accreditation
Leah Del Percio
Leah Del Percio CEO of Trustate
Leah Del Percio is the President, CEO, and co-founder of Trustate, one of the world’s fastest-growing estate administration platforms. Since Trustate’s founding in 2020, Ms. Del Percio has been involved in all aspects of the firm's development and growth. Trustate provides B2B tools to various stakeholders throughout the estate administration process including law firms, wealth managers, banks, and accountants, amongst others. Today, the firm is an industry leader in the LegalTech space and is regularly featured as one of the top startups to watch. Read More ›
Watch Related Videos