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Trusts and Estates

Ca. Trs. & Estates Quarterly 2017, Volume 23, Issue 4

MCLE ARTICLE: DON’T ANSWER THAT! SPOUSES, FAMILIES, AND PRIVILEGE

By Patrick A. Kohlmann, Esq.* and Jennifer F. Scharre, Esq.*

INTRODUCTION

One of Mark Twain’s most well-known quotes is the "only constant is change." This applies now more than ever. Society is changing rapidly. Have you ever heard the saying, "the new normal?" Nevertheless, as a profession which must follow the dictates of statutory and common law principles, attorneys must apply long-standing rules to "modern" society.

Lawyers may be faced with representing spouses who have no desire or interest in leaving their assets to each other. Is this ethically permissible? In practice, is it possible to represent them both?

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