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Home | Blog | Telling the truth is always the best policy

Whether you are staying silent on a particular point, not giving your lawyer a straight answer, or you are straight out telling a lie to your lawyer, it can negatively affect your matter.

Wills and Estates Lawyers are told all sorts of highly personal information from clients, from full details of your assets and liabilities to the family secrets and disputes which have caused a rift in the family. The issues are usually of a personal nature and may be confronting or embarrassing to talk about, especially to a third party such as a lawyer.  However it is crucial that you explain the whole situation and tell your lawyer the whole truth about your circumstances.  This allows the lawyer to assess your matter.

Be honest with your lawyer

Regardless of the impact you think it will have on your case, it is important to tell your lawyer the whole truth. If you don’t tell your lawyer about it, normally other people involved in your matter may say something and your lawyer will end up finding out. Some of the key reasons to be honest with your lawyer include the following:

  1. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential and will not be used in your matter without your approval
  2. It can affect your prospects of success in your matter
  3. It is counter productive
  4. It does not allow the lawyer to effectively represent and protect you in your matter
  5. It can affect negotiations and possible settlements in your matter
  6. It can affect your credibility as a witness in the matter
  7. It can increase the costs in your matter
  8. The lawyer’s role is not to judge the client
  9. You are putting yourself at a disadvantage
  10. Your lawyer needs to know the truth about your whole situation to enable the lawyer to represent you to the best of the lawyer’s ability
  11. It is in your best interests to have a fully informed lawyer. Only a fully informed lawyer is able to present your strongest possible case.

When facts and information change, or are found to be untrue, your lawyer is forced to reconsider the legal strategy for your case. If they know the truth from the beginning they can build your strongest possible case and be prepared to defend you. If you lawyer does not know the truth, they are not able to protect your case. If another person comes forward or there is evidence which disproves what you have told your lawyer, there may be permanent damage to your case that cannot be repaired.

The surprises in the matter normally come to light just before crunch time, such as a Mediation or Trial of your matter. At critical stages of a case, there may be limited time and limited options available to deal with the damage caused to your case by lying or withholding the truth.

Usually you may be worried about particular information and it is not as bad as you think. Your lawyer may have legal strategies or defences that you are not aware of. It is important to raise your concerns with your lawyer so they have the opportunity to discuss the possible options with you. Information you provide may not need to be used but its important that you lawyer has the opportunity to prepare your best possible case.

We can help

At Turner Freeman Lawyers Wills and Estates Department we pride ourselves on being empathic to your situation whilst always providing you with an honest and frank assessment of your matter. If you need advice about a wills or estates matter, contact our team today on 07 3025 9000 for a confidential, obligation free discussion.

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