Trouble in Paradise: Navigating Elder Law Ethics
Friday, November 6, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Presented by Rebecca A. Hobbs, CELA
CLE: 1 hour ethics
From the moment you pick up the phone, ethical issues come into play. Your natural instinct is to answer that legal question you are being asked. Be careful!
Ethical dilemmas are a particular concern for elder law attorneys. These concerns are heightened in an elder law practice due to the very nature of the client base. You encounter clients with diminished capacity, clients who do not want to make decisions and try to defer to other family members, and often many family members present at the consultation.
Elder law attorneys also are presented with unique potential conflicts of interest. When the attorney is the scrivener of the documents, can the elder law attorney represent the agent under the POA? What should the attorney do when the agent under the POA wants to file a guardianship action to protect the principal? Handling these delicate potential conflicts of interest are challenging.
Join Rebecca A. Hobbs, Certified Elder Law Attorney and ElderCounsel member, as she discusses these and other ethical concerns that face elder law attorneys every day.
a. Every day issues impacting Elder Law attorneys
b. Why ethics are so important for Elder Law attorneys
II. The Initial Call and Client Identification
a. Who is your client
b. Duties to Prospective Client
c. Conflicts of Interest
III. The Consultation
a. Representing a Client with Diminished Capacity (Model Rule 1.14)
b. Payment of fees by Third Party
c. Confidentiality of Information (Model Rule 1.6)
d. Third Party Presence in Meeting (Model Rule 1.2)
IV. Dealing with the Difficult Issues
a. Undue influence
b. Fraud and financial exploitation
c. Physical safety concerns
V. Delve Deeper into Conflicts of Interest and Confidentiality
a. Determining whether the conflict can be waived
b. Teetering the line with calls from family members
c. Disclosure of information on the client’s estate plan to the family