My sister is not allowed to attend any discussions regarding father's last will. Is this normal?

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My 90 year old father's attorney will not allow my sister (who is executor) to sit in on any discussions regarding his will. He is easily confused and has so many questions for us which we can't answer because we do not know the contents of his will. Is this normal?

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Thank you everyone for all your input. I think I know what to do.
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Reply to Sokan31
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Clear something up for me: what kind of questions can you not answer without reference to the contents of the will? I've been sitting here trying to think of what information you might have that would be contingent on what your father wanted to do with it, and I'm stumped.

Your father is entitled to keep his will private. The job of the executor is to comply with his instructions, but she doesn't need to know what they are in advance. By all means try another attorney, but it seems to me that this current one is acting correctly in trying to ensure that his client is making his will free of any other person's influence. Nothing wrong with that.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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If the attorney refuses to allow your sister to sit in on the meeting despite Dad's request, then Dad needs to get a new attorney.
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Reply to AlfredR
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We have never sat in on a meeting before. My dad asked if my sister could accompany him and the lawyer said no. That's why I am asking if this is a standard policy.
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Reply to Sokan31
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freqflyer has some good comments and suggestions.

Ever since my Dad died, I have always accompanied my Mom to all of her appointments with any attorneys because she wanted me to. [Because my Mom and I have lived together for 10 years (she is now in a Memory Care Unit), I have copies of her will and all of her POA documents.]

Maybe the attorney asked your Dad if he wanted your sister or you to sit in on the meeting and your Dad said "No."

If either your sister or you do get a chance to sit in on a meeting between your Dad and his attorney, YOUR JOB IS TO LISTEN and NOT SPEAK! Your sister and you are there as OBSERVERS and NOT as PARTICIPANTS. If either of you have any questions during the meeting, write them down. Then, at the end of the meeting, ASK YOUR DAD IF your sister or you can ask a few questions TO CLARIFY a couple items. Do not ask too many questions--4 or 5 questions at the most.

Have either your sister or you sat in a meeting between your Dad and an attorney in the past? How did you behave? Did the meeting (as FF mentions) turn into the Jerry Springer Show with your sister or you questioning everything or most of your Dad's decisions? Such as "DAD, WHY are you letting ________ have the house when he/she lives in another state and I live here in the same city?" "Dad, Do you really mean to give ____________ that much money after you die...you KNOW that person will just spend the money on junk and not save it for college or __________ like you want them to?"

Even though your Dad is confused, HE is the one making the decisions, not your sister nor you. Keep that in mind whenever you have a meetings in the future.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Sokan31, usually the Attorney will ask your Dad if he wants you to sit in on the meeting, thus it would be your Dad who is saying "no". There are some parents who feel their grown children shouldn't be part of this information. We are just the kids, and what do we know :P

Or if a family comes into the meeting and it turns into the Jerry Springer show, then I could see the Attorney not allowing everyone into the office [not saying that is the case here].

My parents always had me sit in when they spoke to their Elder Law Attorney, and before any discussion, the Attorney would ask my parents if it was ok with them if I was in the meeting, just to double check. I usually sat silent unless my parents directed a question or an idea to me.

If your Dad is confused, then the Attorney would not allow your Dad to make any changes to his Will, unless these are items that the Attorney and your Dad had spoken about at a much earlier meeting when your Dad's memory was better and the Attorney has such information in his/her notes.

The above happened with my Dad, after my Mom had passed, Dad wasn't as clear minded as prior, but the Attorney had her notes from prior meetings so that was allowed. I usually tried to get an appointment during the time of day when Dad was more clear minded.
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Reply to freqflyer
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If you believe that your father is signing a will when he may not be of sound mind, you should communicate your concerns, in writing, to his attorney.
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Reply to AlfredR
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I am the executrix of my mother’s will, plus her healthcare and financial POA.

When she did her updates a few months ago I reviewed both POA documents in detail with her lawyer, but I did not see a copy of her will. Nor do I have a copy of her will. I do have copies of the POA documents.

My brother is POA ($/hc) plus executor for me. He has copies of all three documents.

I do wonder why he has questions or is being questioned about his will? The executrix does not need to know the content prior to his death.
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Reply to Tothill
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I may or may not have experienced such a situation when I was working for EP attorneys, so I can only offer some suggestions. Anyone who's going to be handling an estate or trust needs to know and understand the bequests, but also the underlying legal issues. And these are the ones that may take more effort and understanding than managing the bequests.

So it's beneficial for that person to be privy to conversations as to implementation.

However, I can understand that an attorney might not want to discuss bequests with anyone other than the testator/trix.

Another however, given that your father is confused (and believe me, that's normal when you get into the legalese and verbiage of wills and trusts), unless he does understand, he's NOTexecuting anything with full knowledge of the ramifications of what he may or may agree to. And that's critical.

What attorneys I've worked for have done is discuss estate management, and other procedural and substantive issues with the intended executor/trix/successor trustee, but specific bequests were done privately. The executor, etc. stepped and waited in the law firm lobby while this private session occurred.

In fact, I just remembered that I sat in on all meetings when my father and sister executed their estate plans. It's been so long that I actually forgot for a moment!

If the attorney continues to refuse, I think you need to find someone else.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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