Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1998-99/14

Presented to the Board of Governors May 18, 2000


May a lawyer who is also a licensed broker for life and health insurance sell such insurance products to her estate planning clients?


A lawyer has an active estate planning practice. One common method to insure that an estate has sufficient liquidity at the time of death is for the estate-planning client to purchase life insurance. Accordingly, on many occasions, the lawyer will recommend that her clients purchase such insurance.

The lawyer also has a license from the State of New Hampshire to sell life and health insurance to individuals. The lawyer/broker would like to offer to sell such insurance to her clients.  Since the lawyer/broker would receive a commission from the insurance company, she would disclose that to her clients. The clients would remain free to purchase insurance from anybody, or not purchase insurance at all.

The lawyer/broker does not maintain an active business of selling insurance to the general public. She does not advertise her ability to sell insurance to members of the public generally or to prospective clients of her law practice.

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