Even people who we should be able to trust, can potentially be guilty of fraud. That, unfortunately, includes estate planning attorneys.
They are often employed to handle large sums of money on behalf of their clients. They need to have the honesty and integrity to handle that money properly and not take any of it for themselves.
This is more important for attorneys than many other types of people who handle money.
All of what attorneys do is somewhat secretive. Clients might also not know when they are being defrauded. As a result, estate planning attorneys must comport themselves with absolute integrity at all times.
Unfortunately, that does not always happen, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported in "Lengthy Prison Term for Estate Planner Who Betrayed Clients."
An estate planning attorney in Florida was investigated by the FBI. She was found guilty of defrauding her clients out of $2.7 million. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Some details of her case can be found in the article the FBI posted.
What this shows, is that you always need to be careful about who you hire to handle your estate matters.
Fraud can be difficult for the victims to recognize, until it is too late to prevent.
What you can do is to make sure your estate planning attorney is someone you are comfortable with and who will tell you the truth at all times.
If something seems off, then get advice from someone else.
Reference: Federal Bureau of Investigation (August 15, 2017) "Lengthy Prison Term for Estate Planner Who Betrayed Clients."