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Is there an attorney-client privilege between the lawyer and me when I speak on behalf of my aunt who was not with me@meeting

Morristown, NJ |

My aunt prefer me to handle her business with her lawyer. I had no power of attorney from my aunt and she never comes with me during my meetings with the lawyer, which were always on behalf of her. The subject was a living trust to be settle by my aunt and I will be the beneficiary. Since the meeting with the lawyer on behalf of my aunt will benefit me, is there still an attorney-client privilege between my aunt's lawyer and me?

My aunt is the client. I did not get power of attorney from my aunt. I was just verbally told that it was ok to talk on her behalf because the meeting will benefit me, since I will be the beneficiary of the to be set up Living Trust with my aunt as the grantor. Logically thinking, there should be an attorney-client privilege between my aunt's lawyer and me although I am not the client, because the meeting was for my benefit. With respect to the answer of Guy Gordon below, if the Attorney-Client privilege extend to both of us, because my aunt had given her attorney permission to discuss with me, why is there no attorney client privilege for a nonclient third person who sits in the room with the clien and the attorney, given that the client had given her lawyer permission to deal with the nonclient third person

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Depends who the client is. The attorney client privilege is between lawyer and client. If you are the client then you would have the privilege. If you aren't the client you wouldn't have the privilege. The client is determined by the engagement.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.


  2. Depends on the client arrangement. The aunt could be the client and give written permission or power of attorney for the attorney to deal with you.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


  3. You indicated in your question and additional information that your Aunt is the client and you do not have a POA from her. I assume then that your Aunt has given her attorney permission to deal with you. In that sense you are acting as her agent and the attorney-client privilege extends to both you and your Aunt. You most likely do not have that privilege individually with respect to your Aunt and therefore you should not expect her attorney to keep your matters confidential from her as she is the actual client. You can expect that the terms of your Aunt's trust will be confidential as to the rest of the world within the limits of attorney-client privilege such as prevention of crime, tort or fraud.

    This answer is based on general legal principles only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. This answer is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the formation of a lawyer-client relationship. Any reader of this answer should not make decisions based upon in without first directly consulting with an attorney.

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