Here’s a recipe for disaster:
I. Lawyer gets a call from “X” who is not the potential client.
II. “X” says he represents the potential client.
III. “X” says PC is dying, blind and in the hospital.
IV. “X” says PC has no will or other estate planning mechanism.
V. “X” takes intake forms and goes off to get information from PC and lawyer says that after forms are completed she will visit PC to do rest.
VI. “X” returns w/ incomplete form and tells lawyer PC wants to talk to lawyer confidentially at hospital.
VII. Lawyer says OK but “confidential” means “X” cannot be there.
VIII. Lawyer gets call from hospital that PC urgently wants to talk to lawyer. When lawyer calls PC, lawyer is told that PC does not trust “X” and that “X” was not authorized.
IX. PC tells lawyer that “X” knows what is going on and lawyer should talk to “X” but PC does not trust “X” so “A” & “B” must also be part of the discussions.
X. “A” & “B” don’t want to get involved because of “X”s involvement. They don’t trust “X” and believe he is trying to take advantage of PC.
XI. PC has 2 children who are not interested.
If any part of this sounds like your family, you are very likely to be confronting estate litigation. The smartest thing you can do is call a family meeting and settle things in advance. If not, only the lawyers are going to win.