We were friends first, but also colleagues who shared office space. We were both so caught up in her fight that we did not focus on what would happen if things did not go as planned.
Within days of my friend’s passing, I received calls from her clients whose emotions ranged from shocked and devastated to extremely concerned and frightened about the status of their cases. Needless to say, I was dealing with my own grief; but had to compartmentalize and focus on what to do next. I also had my own practice to contend with.
There are a number of things that would have made the transition much easier if we had the forethought to implement them prior to my dear friend’s passing.
We should have had that very difficult conversation and my friend and colleague should have designated me her successor attorney by contract. This would have alleviated a number of issues because my responsibilities would have been clearly defined.
including creating an agreement with successor counsel to ensure that clients are well served and attorneys adhere to their professional responsibilities in the event of death or disability. Attorneys have a responsibility to their clients and to their own families to plan for the continuity or winding up of their practice if faced with these events. A comprehensive plan can provide you, your family, and your clients with peace of mind.