Retainer agreements (engagement letters) are critical to establish and document the understanding the practitioner has with the client. They are an important step that practitioners can take to identify expected actions and protect practitioners from a myriad of potential issues, or worse, ethical problems or suits. What should practitioners consider including in a retainer agreement? How has technology changed the issues that might be addressed? Are text messages an issue? Why is it important to communicate billing practices? What options are available in doing so? What special precautions might be considered and addressed when representing married couples? Should practitioners consider warning clients about their obligations to the estate planning process? What caveats might practitioners consider inserting into the agreement? When should agreements be revisited? What are the logistics of retention and conflict waiver agreements? Are there benefits to addressing the practitioner’s obligations?
Martin M. Shenkman is an attorney in private practice in Ft. Lee, NJ, and New York City. His practice focuses on estate and tax planning, planning for closely held business, and estate administration. Mr. Shenkman is an author of more than 800 articles and over 40 books, including his most recent book on powers of attorney, co-authored with Jonathan Blattmachr. He is an editorial board member of Trusts & Estates Magazine and the Matrimonial Strategist, and the recipient of many awards including the prestigious Accredited Estate Planners (Distinguished) award from NAEPC and Financial Planning Magazine’s 2012 Pro-Bono Financial Planner of the Year for his efforts on behalf of those living with chronic illness and disability.
Sandra D. Glazier is an equity shareholder with Lipson Neilson P.C., in its Bloomfield Hills, Michigan office. Sandy concentrates her practice in the areas of probate litigation, estate planning, probate and trust administration, and family law. An experienced litigator and estate planner, Sandy has represented contestants and proponents of estate planning documents, as well as fiduciaries, in significant trust litigation proceedings. She has served as a mediator in Probate and Family Court cases. Sandy also handles complex divorce matters. She is an active member of the OCBA, where she serves on the Probate, Estates & Trusts (PET), Family Law, and Legislative committees and is a fellow of the Adams Pratt-Oakland County Bar Foundation. A past chair of the OCBA’s PET and Family Law committees, she has authored articles and presented on such issues as undue influence, the attorney-client privilege in will and trust disputes, defending fiduciaries in probate litigation, and ethical considerations when representing vulnerable adults on a national level. In addition, she taught valuation for federal estate and gift tax purposes in a Master’s Level course. Sandy has been published in some of the legal industries leading national publications, such as Bloomberg BNA’s Tax Management Memorandum Estate, Gifts and Trust Journal, Trusts & Estates – The WealthManagement.com journal for estate-planning professionals, Wolters Kluwer, and Leimberg Information Services, Inc. Also, Sandy has presented for the OCBA, ICLE, ABA, Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium, Bloomberg BNA, Wilmington Trust’s NY Estate Planning Symposium, Trust & Estates Magazine, the Wayne County Probate Court Attorney/GAL Training, and the Family Law Section of the Michigan’s State Bar. Sandy is a recipient of the OCBA’s Distinguished Service Award and an AV®” Rated Preeminent attorney, and has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” in the areas of probate, estate planning and family law, and as a Super Lawyer for estate and trust litigation.
Event sponsors are not approved Continuing Education Sponsors. However, several states and regulatory agencies for a variety of professionals that participate on our teleconferences may still receive continuing education credit for their participation. If a participant wishes to receive CE credit for their participation in these teleconferences, they must apply to receive credit on their own and through their individual states and regulatory authorities. It is the responsibility of the participant to file for CE credit and is not guaranteed by Shenkman Law, InterActive Legal, or Peak Trust Company.
Let us help increase the productivity and profitability of your practice.