Representing Spouses in Blended or Stepfamilies: Planning and Ethical Landmines

May 11, 2022

Estate planning for clients who have blended or stepfamilies often presents significant and perplexing challenges for estate planners in the substantive planning. As if that was not difficult enough, estate planners may also encounter important ethical issues.  This webinar will discuss the often-counterintuitive ethical traps and landmines that estate planners face when working with blended or stepfamily clients. What is a blended family? What common arrangements do blended families take? How can practitioners work effectively with blended family couples? Should it be joint or separate representation? What might you include in your retainer agreement or a side agreement about representation? What are the signposts of the need for separate representation? What are indications that you may need to look for to protect the clients and yourself? Since the seeds of a future malpractice claim are sown during the initial client meeting what precautions might practitioners take? Who should you meet with at the beginning of the engagement? How do you properly prepare for the initial meeting? Are your questionnaires and other forms updated to reflect blended family data? How to engage and move forward? Conflicts of interest can be nettlesome. What are sources of common conflicts of interest? Is it advisable to obtain waivers of conflicts of interest? What is the distinction between consentable and non-consentable conflicts? Specific practical estate planning situations that can present ethical challenges, including marriage contracts, joint tenancy, gift-splitting, powers of attorney, SLATs, gift tax returns, etc. And more!   Speakers: L. Paul Hood, Jr., Esq., Jonathan Blattmachr, Esq., and Martin M. Shenkman, Esq.   Sponsor: Peak Trust Company and Interactive Legal (ILS)   * There are no professional advancement credits (CPE, CLE, etc.) offered for viewing this webinar. *This may constitute attorney advertising.