Is it a conflict of interest for my deceased father’s attorney to represent his girlfriend in a real estate dispute regarding his estate?

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Is it a conflict of interest for my deceased father’s attorney to represent his girlfriend in a real estate dispute regarding his estate?

My father died 5 months ago. My dad, his long time girlfriend and myself went to see an attorney and had new Wills written up just a couple months before he died. Now the girlfriend has stolen things and we have filed a Petition to Discover Assets and she is still using the same attorney. Isn’t this a conflict of interest for the attorney?

Asked on May 19, 2011 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your father.

You are correct that the attorney has a conflict of interest in representing both you and your father's girlfriend.  The attorney should have advised both parties in writing of the conflict of interest and the written notice should have informed the parties that they have the right to consult other attorneys regarding the conflict of interest.  The parties also have the right to waive the conflict of interest and continue being represented by the same attorney.  The waiver should also be in writing.

 

 


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