Boysaw v. Cohen
An attorney who drafts a will and, when asked to help with probate, fails to promptly arrange to probate the will, is not diligent, in violation of Rule 1.3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The complainant's mother allegedly hired the respondent attorney, Mitchell Cohen, in 2007, when the mother was terminally ill. The complainant's mother allegedly informed Cohen that she was concerned that if she left assets to her children the State of Connecticut might lien the children's interests in her estate. The respondent attorney allegedly drafted a will and a spendthrift trust. The chief asset in the spendthrift trust was the mother's real property. Allegedly, the will was not immediately probated, after the complainant's mother passed away. In 2010, the complainant was unable to refinance the mortgage, because she lacked title to the property. Allegedly, although the complainant paid the respondent attorney $600 to probate the will at that time, the respondent did not perform any work, and the will was not immediately probated. The complainant was unable to refinance or to participate in mediation, because she lacked title to the property. The complainant filed a grievance against the respondent attorney, who returned the $600 fee. The Statewide Grievance Committee found, by clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent failed to promptly work to probate the will, in violation of Rule 1.3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, and failed to communicate adequately and to return the complainant's telephone calls, in violation of Rule 1.4. The Statewide Grievance Committee reprimanded the respondent attorney.