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

18-Consent and Prospective Waivers

60-Lawyers Acting as Trustees

61-Lawyers Acting as Executors

75-Representing Estates and Executors

76-Trust and Estate Lawyers

Lawyers may act as personal representatives or trustees under documents the lawyer prepares, but: must obtain a written consent if the lawyer's judgment would be significantly impaired; must advise the client about how the lawyer's compensation will be calculated and whether it is subject to some limits or court approval. Lawyers may also hire their own firms to perform legal work in the administration of the trust or estate, in which case the lawyers generally represent themselves, and not the beneficiaries or the trust or estate as an entity. Even with consent, a lawyer serving as a fiduciary may not take positions adverse to the interests of a beneficiary or the entity. Lawyers acting as fiduciaries generally should not represent beneficiaries in unrelated matters.

Copyright 2000, Thomas E. Spahn