California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - JUNE 1999
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MCLE SELF-STUDY

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Self-Assessment Test
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Answer the following questions after reading the MCLE article on estate planning for small or solo law practices. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.

1. A solo practitioner who does not have an estate plan for his or her law practice is engaging in professional malpractice.

2. The duty of competence includes the mental and physical ability to perform legal services competently.

3. A trustee or "buddy" designated to manage your law practice does not need to be a lawyer.

4. The superior courts can supervise a dead or disabled lawyer's law practice.

5. The designation of a personal representative can result in immediate appointment of a law practice administrator to preserve the assets of the law practice.

6. A solo practitioner's wishes as to the appointment of a law practice administrator are irrelevant.

7. A lawyer may nominate one lawyer to serve as the estate's personal representative and law practice administrator.

8. If a solo practitioner transfers the economic interest of a practice to a trustee and the lawyer is disabled or deceased, the trustee may not seek the assistance of the superior court.

9. In creating trust documents for the operation and management of a solo practice in the event of disability, it is important to set a time for the law office trustee's powers to commence.

10. Lawyers who undertake unfinished legal business of a disabled or deceased lawyer may not allow any third person to interfere with the member's independence of professional judgment.

11. If a buddy/trustee is going to work on client matters, it may be helpful to disclose under what circumstances the buddy/trustee is authorized to work on client matters to protect their interests and the compensation arrangement.

12. It is unnecessary to appoint a trust to take control over a client's trust account since any one can be a signatory on the client's trust account.

13. Having a buddy/trustee as a signatory on your client's trust account will enable the buddy/trustee to handle any client trust account matter at any time that the sole practitioner is not available, including when the practitioner is on vacation.

14. There are no disadvantages to having another lawyer as a co-signatory on a client's trust account of a sole practitioner.

15. A power of attorney that authorizes a buddy/trustee to take control of all operating and clients' trust accounts in certain designated circumstances is another means of providing for the management of a sole practice if a lawyer dies or is disabled.

16. If a lawyer dies, the practice must be wound down.

17. A personal representative/

buddy/trustee may petition the superior court for the appointment of a law practice administrator pursuant to Probate Code 2468, 9764, 17200(b)(22) & (23) and Bus. & Prof. C. 6185 or for the superior court to assume jurisdiction over the practice pursuant to Bus. & Prof. C. 6180 and 6190 et seq.

18. Rule 1-320, Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits fee splitting between a lawyer and non-lawyers, prohibits a lawyer from paying legal fees to a deceased lawyer's estate.

19. Rule 1-320, Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits fee splitting between a lawyer and non-lawyers, prohibits a lawyer from paying legal fees to a disabled lawyer's estate.

20. A law practice administrator may agree to the sale of a law practice and its good will for any price he or she believes is appropriate.

CERTIFICATION

This activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour, of which 1 hour will apply to legal ethics.

The State Bar of California certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.