Have you ever recommended family to your law firm or to an attorney at the firm? My aunt and uncle are dealing with their fathers estate (turns out he had other children they didn't know about and they're struggling to establish who should get what and why). I don't want to do it myself but I thought it'd be a good idea to recommend them to another attorney at the firm. Is this a good idea or is it too messy to mix family and work?

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Two things. First, since this is an estate of a relative, and especially since it appears they died intestate and that there is a potential for high conflict, you should check your jurisdiction's ethics rules before even considering taking this on. Potential conflicts are that you may potentially have an interest in the estate or you may even be a witness. Also, check to see if a potential conflict is imputed onto your firm.

Second, certainly, consider engaging one of your colleagues. On the business side, it should help you generate origination credit and a working relationship with a colleague in a different practice area that you otherwise would not have interacted with. Second, even if this is your practice area, consider referring the matter to a colleague as that way your family relationship does not impede on your professional obligations - such as your relatives expecting you to do the work for free or steeply discounted, and the case does not sour your relationship with your relatives.

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Thank you! I referred them to a great coworker who I respect. I have no interest in the estate but I still think it was the safest option.

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