Florida lawyers owe fiduciary duties to their clients and are expected to represent them ethically and diligently. Unfortunately, some attorneys violate their duties and are negligent in their representation. A lawsuit that was recently filed in Minnesota demonstrates the impact that legal malpractice can have on innocent victims.
The Minnesota woman filed a lawsuit against her late husband’s estate planning attorney, alleging that the lawyer had drafted a new will for her husband and had him sign it when he was not lucid. The husband was dying from cancer at the time and was incapacitated. The lawyer then told the woman to sign a release without letting her read it. The release disinherited the woman, and the husband’s estate went to a foundation on which the lawyer served on the board instead of to the plaintiff.
In the man’s earlier will, he had left $2.4 million to his wife along with his house. He had left his farm, which had been in his family for six generations, to his nephews. The changed will left everything to the church and only allowed the woman to use the house during her lifetime. It provided full-coverage health insurance and an annual income of $54,000. She sued the lawyer for breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent misrepresentation, malpractice, negligence, and several other claims.
While most attorneys are diligent in how they represent their clients, some breach their ethical duties, causing their clients to incur extensive losses. People who believe that their attorneys breached their fiduciary duties and caused them to suffer losses that they would not otherwise have suffered might want to consult with attorneys who are experienced in legal malpractice law. An attorney may help clients to hold the lawyers accountable for their wrongful or negligent actions.