I suppose that there are times in any job or profession when we struggle with our purpose, our import, our position in the life of the community that we live and serve. A way to deal with this struggle is to look at the world around us – to look and believe that the people we meet – the people that seek us out for our advice and counsel – are important gifts in our lives. These people share the problems facing them in everyday life and seek our advice and counsel. I always feel particularly graced when called upon to assist elders who need protection and a remedy for wrongdoing. This wrongdoing often involves the abuse of a power of attorney granted by the elder to someone close to him or her – often even a family member.
In estate law, a sense of fair play is crucial to every element of the legal process – from the drafting of wills and trusts to probate and the distribution of funds and assets. Clients, attorneys and financial professionals all depend on trust, along with the implicit assumption that everyone’s operating in good faith. When trust breaks down in an estate case, litigation often ensues, and in extreme circumstances law enforcement is forced to step in. So what happens when millions inexplicably go missing from an estate and beneficiaries are exploited?
The matter of Connecticut attorney Peter Clark serves as a reminder on the need for accountability and fair play in estate law. Clark, 57, made a plea bargain last month with the US Att[...]