Probate and Trust Attorney Communication limits and responsibilities

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Probate and Trust Attorney Communication limits and responsibilities

I am a trustee to an estate. What information is our lawyer allowed to communicate about the trust to the beneficiaries without our consent? I am also the probate representative for the assets not covered by the trust. Again, what information about the probate process is our lawyer allowed to communicate without my consent to the beneficiaries?

Asked on June 25, 2018 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The short answer is "nothing." If the lawyer is the lawyer of the trust, and you are the trustee, or the lawyer of the estate, and you the estate's personal representative, you are the client. (Technically, the trust or estate is the client, but as the trustee and/or personal representative, you speak for the trust or estate.) The lawyer cannot communicate information to other parties without the client's consent. IF the lawyer believes that your instructions (e.g. about what to communicate or share) are in some way illegal or unethical, the lawyer could withdraw from representing you--but still cannot communicate without your consent (or without a court order requiring that certain information be provided).


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