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Ethical Considerations When It Comes to Estate Planning

When it comes to estate planning, there are five factors of ethical behavior that everyone should be aware of: capability, undivided right, capacity for testament, diligence, and permanent obligation. Ethics is a set of moral principles that guide a person’s actions. When it comes to determining what behaviors are right or wrong, ethics is your guide. Honesty, compassion, loyalty, respect for other’s rights, and concern for the general good are all fundamental concepts of ethical behavior.

Unless you are dealing with an estate planning specialist, ethical considerations in estate planning can be easily overlooked. When creating an estate plan, the following five ethical issues should always be kept in mind.


The first factor is the professional’s competency. Any attorney involved in or overseeing the construction of your estate plan must be knowledgeable and skilled in providing estate planning guidance. Estate planning attorneys owe it to their clients to keep up to date on the latest laws affecting their legacy.

Undivided Right

In addition, an estate planning attorney must be aware of any potential undivided rights. The most prevalent conflict of interest is when an attorney represents both spouses in a marriage. Another point of contention is representation across generations. When a parent completes an estate plan, intergenerational difficulties may develop if their children are adults.

The attorney must ensure that the client’s requests are followed rather than their child’s proposals. By avoiding generational conflicts, the attorney can make recommendations that are in the best interests of their client. With both parties’ informed consent, joint representation is feasible.

Capacity for Testament

It is critical to make sure the client has the complete testamentary ability. Estate planning attorneys might encounter clients who have restricted mental abilities. In this scenario, the attorney must ensure that the individual they are representing has the mental capacity to complete the necessary paperwork regarding their estate. If the estate plan is contentious, this situation could be difficult. For example, there may be numerous people attempting to gain control and falsely claiming the client lacks mental capacity.


The importance of due diligence in estate planning cannot be overstated. While representing a client, an estate planning attorney has a responsibility to act quickly. If the client’s wishes are ethical and law-abiding, an attorney should follow through and carry them out.

Permanent Obligation

The final ethical consideration for estate planning professionals is continued obligation. This is the straightforward process of informing clients. In a client-attorney relationship, continuous obligation emerges naturally when there is active involvement. When a representation becomes inert, open lines of communication might become a source of concern.

In all estate planning initiatives, the five ethical issues of competence, conflicts of interest, testamentary capacity, diligence, and ongoing obligation are significant. The importance of ethical planning and decision-making cannot be overstated. You could feel confident that all considerations are made in your best interest if you engage with an experienced estate planning attorney.

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