FLORIDA BAR ETHICS OPINION
October 6, 1964
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
A law firm may provide testators of wills prepared by the firm with a memorandum containing a
general explanation of the possible effects upon a will of substantial depreciation or appreciation
of a testator’s assets or of marriage, divorce, birth or death of the testator or potential
Chairman Smith stated the opinion of the committee:
A member of The Florida Bar states that his firm desires to prepare a
memorandum which would be commercially printed and would bear the name of
the firm. The memorandum would consist of one page of single spaced printing
on lettersize paper, and would contain a general explanation of the possible
effects of substantial depreciation or appreciation of a testator’s assets, or of
marriage, divorce, birth or death of the testator or potential beneficiaries. A copy
of this memorandum would be given only to testators of wills prepared by the
firm and delivery would be made to the client at the time of execution of the will.
The purpose of the memorandum is to impress upon the client the importance of
information which is supplied to him in the course of planning the estate and
preparation of the will.
The Committee sees no ethical impropriety in the practice proposed. Indeed, most
members affirmatively approve the practice as a wise and valuable service to the client. It is
suggested, however, that the memorandum be prepared in letter form and provision made for
typing the client’s name and address on the form so that in essence the material supplied will be
a letter from the firm directed to an individual client.