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WA Unethical Solicitor Conduct?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Roger Ramjet, 27 May 2014.

  1. Roger Ramjet

    Roger Ramjet Member

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    My uncle was listed as one of two beneficiary of his sisters estate.
    The other beneficiary is the husband of the deceased sister.
    The will directed that all the assets be sold and the proceeds to be evenly split between the two beneficiaries.

    Three months after probate was granted the husband lodged an affidavit in the Supreme Court claiming he had not been adequately provided for. The court accepted his claims automatically, as it should.

    My uncle was not notified of any this.

    Ten months after probate was granted my uncle was persuaded by the husband to attend a meeting with the husband's solicitor. When he asked if he could take someone with him he was told by the husband that he could not. When he asked what it was about he was told it was just to discuss the terms of the will. The meeting was between the the husband's solicitor, the husband and my uncle. No one else was in the room.

    At the meeting my uncle recalls that all they did was discuss was the will. No mention was made of any challenge to the will. At the meeting my uncle was given one piece of legal advice by the husband's solicitor. This was to do with how the inheritance would affect his pension.

    Upon returning home my uncle said the meeting was a complete waste of time as they all they did was go over the will.

    Some fifteen months later my uncle got a letter from the husband's solicitor saying ".. as discussed at our earlier meeting here is the deed of settlement for you to sign...we strongly advise you to seek legal advice before signing". The deed was a major change to the will which would have left my uncle with virtually nothing and the husband getting nearly all the estate.

    This was the first time my uncle knew there was any problem.

    My uncle was 88 years of age when he met with the husband's solicitor.

    I am interested in your opinions of the conduct of the husband's solicitor.
     
  2. Worldly1

    Worldly1 Well-Known Member

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    Solicitors Professional Conduct Rules vary by state and territory.
    There is work in progress with the Law Council of Australia to standardise these conduct rules.
    In addition to the paramount obligation of a solicitor to the court and administration of justice, the following basic conduct rules are fairly consistent in each state and territory.
    • to act in the best interests of a client in any matter in which the solicitor represents the client;
    • to be honest and courteous in all dealings in the course of legal practice;
    • to deliver legal services competently, diligently and as promptly as reasonably possible;
    • to avoid any compromise to their integrity and professional independence.
    What state and territory is your uncle located in?
    I may then be able to provide further information in relation to the relevant authority for solicitor conduct complaints.
     
  3. Roger Ramjet

    Roger Ramjet Member

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    I am in WA. It strikes me as being at the least unethical
    Thanks
     
  4. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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