SBM - State Bar of Michigan


October 1, 1981


    A lawyer for the administrator of an estate should represent his or her client zealously so long as the administrator is acting properly within the law.


An inquiry has been made as to whether it is proper for the administrator of an estate and the attorney for the administrator of an estate to choose among beneficiaries of the estate and advocate the position of some beneficiaries to the detriment of others.

The issue here appears to find its resolution more in the realm of probate law than in the Code of Professional Responsibility. If it is lawful for the administrator of an estate to express an opinion in the above described situation then the attorney for that administrator can, as a zealous representative for the administrator, express these same opinions. (Canon 7 - A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the boundary of the law).

We recommend you consult probate law to determine the role of an administrator in the situation described. This should guide you as the administrator's attorney. See In Re Houghton's Estate, 310 Mich. 613, 17 NW2d 774 (1945).