As members of a culture that worships youth, most people find it nearly impossible to admit their own mortality, much less make plans for that eventuality. Denial, however, offers no protection from the inevitable. Few people relish the contemplation of life events such as freak accidents, unexpected illness and untimely death. Such events occur, however, and life can change in an instant. If it happens to a licensed professional, his or her clients’ interests may go unprotected. Careful planning can help prevent this while more fully protecting clients, patients and, particularly, the professional’s family. There is much to gain by planning, to the extent possible, for life’s every contingency.
Every attorney, as an example, has a duty of competent representation, which includes developing a plan to safeguard clients’ interests in the event of the attorney’s disability or death. An attorney’s untimely death or disability creates ethical obligations and potential malpractice claims. Further, many malpractice insurance carriers require an attorney to have prepared such a contingency plan. In any law practice, the incapacity or death of an attorney is problematic, but this may be particularly precarious for the personal representative or power of attorney agent who is not only required to settle the normal affairs of the estate, but must also resolve any outstanding issues of the attorney’s law practice. These issues could include client notification, disposition of client files and collection of accounts receivable.
Protection for Professionals in Arizona and New Mexico
Clients’ interests must always be protected, and an attorney’s incapacity or death does not eliminate these responsibilities for those involved. The development of a contingency plan that includes provisions to allow closure of a law practice is needed to protect clients and the attorney’s estate. Similar obligations apply to other licensed professionals as well.
Morris Hall offers the experience, capacity and resources to effectively serve professionals in every component of their immediate and long-term planning and estate planning for professionals needs. The attorneys at Morris Hall have published numerous books and articles and frequently lead seminars for colleagues, other professionals, clients and the public relating to estate planning, elder care, asset protection and business succession. Morris Hall accountants are certified public accountants, and Morris Hall financial planners are professionally licensed in Arizona and New Mexico.
Contact Our Experienced Attorneys
Morris Hall’s offices are located in Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque and communities throughout Arizona and New Mexico. Contact Morris hall to arrange a consultation at Morris hall’s nearest location with one of our estate planning lawyers.