Estate Planning Attorney Owes No Duty to Client’s Children

Several months before the decedent died, he had his attorney prepare an amendment to a trust he had created that would have increased the distributions to his two children.  The attorney drafted the amendment, but the decedent never signed it.  Acting in their capacity as personal representatives for their father’s estate, the children sued the attorney for negligence.  The attorney moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted based on its finding that the attorney owed no duty to them.

The children appealed, and the Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that “an attorney owes a duty of care only to his or her client, not to third parties who may have been damaged by the attorney’s negligent representation of the client.”

Donaldson v. Mincey

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