Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Maryland

Conflict of interests

A lawyer contacted me in regards to him taking over as legal council for a will of a relative of mine. A few days later I recieved a letter from the funeral home that burried my relative. They were trying to recover money owed to them for the funeral, as the will has not been settled yet, no one has been payed. I was informed if they did not recieve payment they will file with the courts. They were being represented by the same firm that was contacting me to represent the will. This sounds like a conflict of interest This sounds illegal. I am not letting them represent the will, but what other recourse might I have. Such actions should result in loss of Attorney priveledges in my opinion.

Asked on 8/20/01, 10:51 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Thomas McCarthy, Sr. Thomas McCarthy, Sr., Esq., P.C.

Re: Conflict of interests

I suggest that you contact the Register of Will in the county

where your deceased relative was resident. If the will has been filed for probate,

ask for the name of the personal representative (in some states called the executor).

The personal representative has the legal authority, power, and duty to settle the estate.

As to the apparent conflict of interest, you may not have standing to complain.

You can however make facts known to the Register of Will. MAke certain of the facts before foin so.


Tom McCarthy, Sr.

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Answered on 8/21/01, 1:03 pm

G. Joseph Holthaus III Law Offices of G. Joseph Holthaus

Re: Conflict of interests

The same attorney cannot wear both of the hats you have indicated. However, the same firm

may handle both actions where there are sufficient procedures to

ensure there is no conflict of interest (e.g., firewall each of the respective attorneys from communication by

having coded files to ensure neither accesses the other's files by mistake, procedures to ensure phone messages

are not inadvertently diverted to the wrong attorney, etc.)

I beleive you are taking prudent action to acquire the service of another attorney to probate the will.

DISCLAIMER: No legal advice is being provided by this correspondence.

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Answered on 8/21/01, 1:03 pm

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