Thursday, June 5, 2014
An Arizona court of appeals recently heard a case on the scope of attorney-client privilege on communications by a trustee made while seeking legal advice. The beneficiary had removed the trustee and after finding a successor trustee requested files related to the trust. The trustee withheld some communications asserting attorney-client privilege.
In Hammerman v. Northern Trust, the court held on Tuesday that the trustee is required to disclose to the beneficiary the communications that involve trusts administration matters, but is covered by attorney-client privilege if the communications were not related to the trust administration and were in his or her personal capacity.
Special thanks to John R. Becker, Esq. (Becker & House) for bringing this case to my attention.