Planning for Life

Estate Planning Attorneys Beware -- Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 29, 2012

Photo by Melinda Gimpel on UnsplashBy Harry S. Margolis

Estate planning attorneys in Massachusetts have long been protected from liability for their mistakes by the fact that the people usually harmed are the potential beneficiaries of the estate rather than the client for whom they drafted the will or trust. Beneficiaries who lose out have no standing to bring a malpractice action against the attorney because they didn't hire the  allegedly negligent lawyer in the first place.

But now the Massachusetts Appeals Court has said that while a beneficiary may have no malpractice claim in the absence of an attorney-client relationship, he can sue as the intended third-party beneficiary of the contract between the attorney and the decedent to create an estate plan.

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Topics: Massachusetts, Estate Planning, malpractice

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