These summaries were prepared by McGuireWoods LLP lawyer Thomas E. Spahn. They are based on the letter opinions issued by the Virginia State Bar. Any editorial comments reflect Mr. Spahn's current personal views, and not the opinions of the Virginia State Bar, McGuireWoods or its clients. 
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LEO NumTopicsSummary

16-Lawyer's Personal Interests

60-Lawyers Acting as Trustees

61-Lawyers Acting as Executors

76-Trust and Estate Lawyers

Lawyers drafting a will or trust agreement must be very careful in naming themselves as executors or trustees. It is likely to be improper if the lawyer has not previously represented the client. At a minimum, the lawyer has a duty to advise the client of fees that would be charged by other executors or trustees. If the instrument requires that the estate or trust hire the lawyer's firm for legal services, the client must consent after full disclosure. If a lawyer acting as a fiduciary commits an act that could be disciplined had the relationship been that of an attorney and client, the lawyer-fiduciary may be disciplined by the Bar.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn