Why You Shouldn’t Name Your Attorney as Your Executor or Trustee
Oftentimes, clients will ask their attorneys to serve as executors of their Wills or
trustees of their trusts. Absent special circumstances, attorneys may be unable to
serve as a trustee or executor of a client’s Will because of the inherent ethical
conflict. Our firm will not serve as trustees of trusts or executors of a client’s Will
if you retained us to draft your estate planning documents.
Because of conflict of interest scenarios that could arise, asking the same attorney
to draft your will and serve as your executor is not a good idea. Similarly, asking
your attorney to draft a trust agreement and serve as your trustee is not a good idea.
However, you can ask another attorney to serve as your executor or trustee.
Attorneys are often great candidates for serving as fiduciaries of your estate
planning documents and they can administer your trust property or dispose of your
assets under your will according to your wishes. In each state, a legal ethical board
will establish ethical rules or canons that all attorneys licensed in that jurisdiction
must follow. As such, if your attorney refuses to act as your executor or trustee, it
is probably because he or she cannot legally perform that function or serve in that
legal capacity. Your attorney can explain his or her ethical obligations to you, the
Experienced estate planning attorneys Redlands CA of the Elder and Disability
Law Firm offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of
Redlands CA. To learn more about these free resources, please visit www.san-