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Florida Probate Blog

Posts Tagged: conflict of interest

Breach of Trust

Written by on Mar 6, 2009| Posted in: Trust Litigation

Third District Finds Miami Probate Court Erred in Requiring Litigants to Prove Undue Influence as Part of a Breach of Fiduciary Claim. Court Finds Lawyer Used Client’s Money as His Own “Piggy bank.” On February 25, 2009, the Third District Court of Appeals released its much anticipated opinion regarding the Brigham Tree Farms Trust litigation. Brigham v. Brigham, –So.2d–, 2009 WL 454492; (Fla. 3rd DCA, Feb. 25. 2009), 34 Fla.L.Weekly D443b involved, in part, a dispute over the trust assets which originated as a the multimillion dollar tree farm encompassing around 800 acres of land in western North Carolina. In order to understand the facts of the case, you will probably need to make a family tree outlining the various parties and there relevance in connection with EFP Brigham and his wife Marion, and the table consanguinity:

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Undue Influence: Lawyers Who Name Themselves or Family Members as Beneficiaries of Wills

Written by on Oct 21, 2008| Posted in: Probate Litigation

All too often I am asked to investigate and ultimately prosecute will contests which involve attorneys playing an active role, not only in the procurement of the will, but in having themselves or their relatives named as beneficiaries under the will. The Florida Supreme Court has adopted a portion of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Responsibility, and in particular, the prohibition against lawyers playing a role in the drafting and execution of a will or trust where they are named as a beneficiary. Rule 4-1.8. Conflict of Interest; Prohibited and Other Transactions (c) Gifts to Lawyer or Lawyer’s Family. A lawyer shall not solicit any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, or prepare on behalf of a client an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer any substantial gift unless the lawyer or other recipient of the gift is related […]

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