Terms & Conditions
STATEMENT OF ENGAGEMENT TERMS FOR LEGAL SERVICES
TuckerAllen is committed to providing the highest quality legal services to our clients. This statement contains our standard terms of engagement for legal services. In addition to this statement, at the outset of each of our new client relationships, we enter into an engagement letter titled “Engagement for Legal Services” which sets forth specific terms and conditions of each individual representation. The engagement letter and this statement together set out the contractual terms of our professional engagement. Each of our clients is urged to carefully read both of them. Any change of the terms in this statement or the engagement letter may only be made by written agreement.
As attorneys, we have a duty of confidentiality to protect your information from everyone outside of our firm, with a few exceptions. You agree to waive this duty of confidentiality with anyone whom you share our communications with, be it by attending a meeting with you, participating in a phone call with you, or you forwarding an email of ours to them.
Similarly, if you are married and have retained us to represent both of you, any information provided to us by one spouse is not protected by attorney-client privilege from disclosure by us to the other spouse. We are willing to meet with one spouse individually, but we cannot agree to withhold information from the other spouse. If conflicts arise between spouses such that it is impossible, in our judgment, for us to perform our obligations in accordance with the terms of our engagement and our ethical obligations as attorneys, we will withdraw from all further joint representation. We will continue to protect your information from family members other than your spouse, however, such as a parent, child, or other relative who engages our services.
You further agree to allow us to provide a copy of any relevant documents you have executed upon being informed of your death or incapacity to a named fiduciary acting on your behalf, such as a trustee, personal representative, or agent under a durable power of attorney.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
TuckerAllen represents other individuals and businesses, and this may create situations where work for one client may preclude us from assisting other clients on other matters. As attorneys, we have a duty of loyalty to our clients and cannot represent a client who has interests in conflict with any other client unless this conflict can be waived by the client’s consent. A married couple is considered to have conflicting interests when making an estate plan, as well as a parent and child who have both retained us. Given our confidentiality policies above, we believe that no actual conflict exists, and such arrangements are common in the estate planning and elder law industry. You agree to waive any conflict of interest in us representing you and your spouse, relative, or other client on any matter which exists now or may arise in the future.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. The legal services we perform are described in greater particularity in a client’s engagement letter. This letter is not valid, and an attorney-client relationship does not exist, until all parties have signed the engagement letter. The relationship terminates upon completion of the services listed therein. Also, it is important to understand that nothing in these terms and conditions, in an engagement letter, or spoken by our staff is a representation, promise, or guarantee on our part concerning the outcome of any matter or recommended course of action. These are statements of opinion only. Any conflicting statements, written or oral, are superseded by these terms and conditions and engagement letter. If any provision is determined to be unenforceable, the provision is severable, and the remaining provisions therein remain in full force and effect.
Our representation is limited to assets which are in the United States, and we make no warranty as to the effects of handling your legal matter internationally. This agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Missouri. We are not financial planners or accountants, so you should always seek the counsel of a financial planner or CPA on matters relating to tax planning. We also have no obligation to inform you of future legal developments after the termination of matters described in the engagement letter.
The attorney-client relationship is one of mutual trust and confidence. Should a dispute arise about our representation which cannot be resolved informally, we agree to arbitrate the dispute through the Missouri Bar arbitration service. Such an arbitration shall be the exclusive remedy to said disputes and shall be binding upon all parties participating.
TECHNOLOGY AND FILE RETENTION
TuckerAllen uses various technology to provide consistent, accessible, and cost-effective services for its clients. We engage in practices including, but not limited to, corresponding via email and/or text, hosting virtual meetings online, credit card processing, and securely storing your information on the cloud. Similarly, we will retain and store your client file electronically after the completion of your matter for six (6) years, unless otherwise agreed. After that time, it may be deleted.
TuckerAllen has an ethical and legal obligation to protect the information you provide. We meet or exceed industry standards and ensure that any third-party services we use also meet those same standards. However, all forms of technology carry a risk of exposure of confidential information. For example, emails may be hacked or misaddressed, and employers and online services have the right to inspect emails sent through their systems. You understand the risks associated with technology and consent to the risks and use thereof.
LEGAL FEES AND EXPENSES
A $150 consultation fee is due at your initial consultation.
We charge an agreed fee for our services, which is stated in each client-specific engagement letter. Unless other arrangements are described in the engagement letter, half of the total fee is due as a fee deposit upon signing of the engagement letter for our planning clients and is earned upon receipt. The remaining balance is due and is an earned fee for TuckerAllen either upon signing of the client’s estate plan documents or sixty (60) days after the client’s draft estate plan documents have been delivered, whichever is earlier. If a client fails to provide sufficient information for us to complete the services described in the engagement letter after one hundred twenty (120) days, the matter will be terminated and no refund will be made unless required by law.
A fee deposit or “retainer” may be required for some of our clients in advance of work performed. Pursuant to rule of the Missouri Supreme Court, all such fee deposits are placed in a special bank account which bears interest payable to the Missouri Bar Lawyer Trust Account Program. Interest earned on these special trust accounts is used to fund public and charitable programs approved by the Missouri Supreme Court.
While our client engagements automatically terminate upon the completion of the services we are engaged to perform, clients may terminate our engagement at any time prior thereto. However, no refund shall be given of any fees already paid and outstanding fees must be settled. Similarly, TuckerAllen also has the right to withdraw from representation as permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Our number one goal is client satisfaction. We are committed to providing the highest quality legal services to each and every one of our clients and we believe that communication is a key element of that commitment. We encourage our clients to communicate openly with us throughout their estate planning process. We strive to return all client phone calls or e-mails within 1 full business day.
SUBMISSIONS TO THIS SITE
Any non-personal communication or material you submit to this website by electronic mail, upload, or otherwise, including any data, questions, comments, suggestions or the like (“Submissions”) are, and will be treated as, non-confidential and non-proprietary. Anything you submit or post becomes the property of TuckerAllen and TuckerAllen may use and reproduce such Submission freely, and for any purpose. Specifically, TuckerAllen is free to use for any purposes whatsoever (including but not limited to the developing, manufacturing, advertising and marketing of products) any ideas, artwork, inventions, developments, suggestions or concepts contained in any Submission you send to this website. Any such use is without compensation to the party submitting information. By making a Submission, you are also warranting that you own the material/content submitted, that it is not defamatory and that TuckerAllen’s use will not violate any third party’s rights or otherwise place us in breach of any applicable laws. TuckerAllen is under no obligation to use the information submitted.