In this month’s Financial Advisor Magazine column, Principal Partner Joe Cordell explains why it is so important for CPAs and other financial professionals to be extremely cautious when discussing legal matters.
The Dec. 11 article, “Toeing The Line,” explains that although financial advisors are usually drawing on a knowledge of finance that many of their clients don’t have, they should still refrain from giving legal advice unless they are a licensed attorney.
Given the wide-range of services financial advisors provide, it could be easy to end up giving legal advice. But that could land them in serious legal trouble, Mr. Cordell writes.
“Despite their responsibility to give clients options, however, advisors must be careful not to deviate into legal advice and opinion,” Mr. Cordell said, “even if they are familiar with the topics. Only a licensed attorney can prepare legal documents and offer specific advice on the application of legal principles to the facts at hand or opinions on the various alternatives.”