A possible business opportunity, offering personal experinece before meeting w/ legal counsel.

I’m looking at offering assistance to folks to help them prepare for meeting with legal counsel to draw up their estate papers, wills, etc. to act as a ‘go between’. Is there a service that does this already?

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Almost impossible to say whether it's *ever* been done or whether it's currently being done nowadays, but it's not something I've heard of. There are some real issues to consider:

1) Most importantly, if what you're doing at all gets into giving legal advice, you'd be guilty of practicing law without a license if you're not an attorney admitted to your jurisdiction.

2) Having a non-attorney in the loop (assuming you're a nonattorney) could destroy lawyer-client confidentiality.

3) Most legal services such as drawing up simpler wills or trusts are pretty affordable--how will you offer value to your clients while charging enough to make it worth your while?

4) You'd certainly have to get some sort of "malpractice" insurance (not sure what kind, if you're not a lawyer) to protect yourself in case something goes south and there's a claim.

5) Not sure a lawyer would work with a client if that client insisted on having an intermediary between them.

 


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