June 1958

CONFLICT OF INTERESTS - SOLICITATION - WILLS - No violation of Canons by attorney acting as independent executor, probating the will, handling the administration and charging a reasonable fee.

Canon 6, 24 .


If an attorney is named as sole independent executor in the will of the deceased, then is such attorney or his law firm violating any Canon of Ethics in probating the will and handling the administration, charging a reasonable fee thereof?  If it is considered that there is a violation by reason of the thought that the attorney in some sense is setting his fee for handling the estate, then would the objection be removed if the attorney probates the will and handles the estate under an attorney's fee agreed upon by the attorney and interested principal devisees?

If an attorney is named as co-executor together with a bank or some other disinterested party, then is the attorney in any degree violating any rule of ethics by probating the will and handling the estate by agreement as to the representation and as to fees with the co-executor bank or other party?


The Committee is of the opinion that if the attorney did not solicit in any way the insertion of his name in the will as independent executor, there is no violation of any of the Canons of Ethics by such attorney probating the will, handling the administration, and charging an reasonable fee thereof.  This is true whether the attorney is named as sole executor or as co-executor.  See Opinion 71 of the Committee. (8-0.)