100 N.J.L.J. 1125
December 8, 1977
Successor to Deceased Attorney -
Publishing Notice to Contact Clients
An attorney who has acquired the files of a deceased attorney
from his widow and estate inquires whether he may attempt to notify
the deceased attorney's clients for wills and files by placing a
notice in one or more local newspapers with circulation in the
primary area. The proposed notice would state the attorney's name,
office address and telephone number, office hours, and the fact
that he has taken over the files and wills of the deceased attorney
and that the affected clients could contact him concerning the
same. The announcement would be for notification purposes.
The attorney has previously written to the clients with fewer than 50 percent receiving the notice, due to incomplete, incorrect or no addresses, and inability to make contact through the local telephone directory.
We are of the opinion that an attorney who takes over the files from a deceased attorney has an obligation to make contact with the clients to be sure that these matters are properly taken
care of, and that the proposed notice is proper.