Courts uniformly have held that the attorney-client privilege survives the death of a client. Various courts and ethics opinions have also analyzed a lawyer’s responsibilities to former clients to preserve confidential information after the representation concludes. Many states have developed the Uniform Probate Code that provides, upon the death of a person, the personal representative of the estate takes possession and control of the decedent’s real and personal property. Complex issues arise regarding the lawyer’s duties to her former client when the personal representative seeks files that are unrelated to the administration of the estate. Download this In Practice… publication to read more about lawyers’ duties regarding legal files after a client’s death. Click here to read more.
Attorney-Client Privilege Did Not Apply Between Lawyers at the Same Firm When One Was Party to a Case