What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do?

An estate planning Probate Attorneys Los Angeles can help you draft your last will and testament, power of attorney, and healthcare proxy. They can also advise you on other tools, such as trusts, to protect your assets and ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.Attorney

Most people benefit from working with an estate planning attorney. However, in some situations, you may need to work with a different one.

An estate planning attorney is someone who creates legal documents for an individual’s “estate.” This typically includes all the wealth and assets that an individual has accrued over his or her lifetime, minus any outstanding debts. These documents determine how those assets are distributed after death or a disability. They may also dictate how a person’s assets are managed while he or she is alive.

An experienced estate planning attorney will understand the complexity of creating a comprehensive plan that is compliant with state and federal laws and addresses unique family, financial, and property circumstances. He or she will know how to create trusts that ensure a client’s wishes are fulfilled, and he or she will be able to work with other professionals, including tax planners and investment advisers, to complete the planning process.

The first step to becoming an estate planning attorney is completing a bachelor’s degree in a subject such as business, finance, or law. Some universities offer specialized degrees in estate planning, and these programs can provide an edge in the job market. Then, an applicant should pursue a law degree at a university that offers a juris doctorate program. The first year of law school is typically devoted to general courses, while the second and third years allow students more flexibility in their course selections.

Once an attorney has a law degree, he or she should become licensed to practice in a specific jurisdiction. This requires passing the bar exam, which is a complex and challenging test that requires extensive knowledge of all aspects of the law. In addition, an attorney should pursue professional certifications in areas such as estate planning and taxation.

Zimmet notes that when choosing an estate planning attorney, prospective clients should consider how much experience the attorney has in the field and whether he or she is licensed to practice in their state. In addition, clients should ask the attorney if he or she has worked on cases with complicated issues and what strategies they have employed to resolve those problems. They should also ask the attorney if he or she welcomes questions from clients and can communicate in ways that are easily understood.


An estate planning attorney specializes in drafting legal documents, including wills and trusts, as well as providing guidance on tax matters. An experienced attorney will be able to create an estate plan that meets the specific needs of each individual client. In addition, an attorney will be able to provide recommendations on strategies for reducing estate taxes and protecting assets from creditors.

When selecting an estate planning attorney, individuals should ask questions to determine whether the lawyer is qualified for their particular situation. For example, they may want to know how many years of experience the attorney has in the field and whether they have worked on cases similar to their own. They may also want to ask about their education and training in the field of estate planning.

The attorney should be able to answer these questions clearly and concisely, rather than speaking in legalese that is difficult to understand. In addition, they should be able to explain how their services will benefit the individual and their family members. Moreover, they should be able to provide information about the state-specific laws and regulations that will affect their clients’ estates.

In addition to their knowledge of federal and state law, an estate planning attorney should be able to work with other professionals to create a comprehensive plan for each client. This will ensure that all issues have been addressed, including minimizing taxes, and that the final document is in compliance with state law.

It is important to note that the expertise of an estate planning attorney does not mean that they must be expensive. An experienced attorney will be able to offer their services at reasonable rates, and they may even be able to provide discounted rates for those with complicated estates.

Choosing an estate planning attorney can be an overwhelming task for many people, but it is essential for everyone to have a plan in place. By asking the right questions, individuals can select an attorney who will help them create a plan that will meet their unique needs and goals.

Communication skills

Estate planning attorneys work with clients to plan their assets and end-of-life affairs. This may include preparing a will, trusts, and other legal documents. It can also involve estate tax planning, assisting with the administration of an estate, and ensuring that inheritances are distributed according to the deceased’s wishes. They should be familiar with state and federal laws governing trusts, estates, and probate. They should also be able to provide clients with detailed explanations of these issues.

In addition to their legal skills, an estate planning attorney should have excellent communication skills. They should be able to clearly explain complex legal concepts in a way that is easy for clients to understand. They should also be able to listen to their clients’ concerns and respond in a timely manner. Finally, an estate planning attorney should be able to provide clients with a range of options and be willing to explore different strategies to meet their clients’ needs.

An experienced estate planning attorney should be knowledgeable in all aspects of the law relating to wills and trusts. They should be familiar with state and federal laws governing trusts, estates, and probate and be able to provide clients with detailed explanations. Inquire about the attorney’s level of experience and whether they have practiced in other areas of law, such as business or tax law.

Having an estate planning attorney is especially important for people with complicated estates, including those who own businesses or who have children from previous relationships. A skilled attorney can ensure that their estates are properly distributed and can minimize taxes. In addition, an estate planner can help their clients plan for future incapacity and disability.

The client demographic for estate planning attorneys is becoming more diverse, and it is important that these lawyers be culturally competent in order to serve their clients effectively. This includes knowing how to best communicate with clients from different backgrounds and having the ability to work with nontraditional families, such as same-gender couples, those without children, or immigrant families. Having these skills can make it easier for an estate planning attorney to reach more clients and help them plan their estates.

Organization skills

Estate planning attorneys must have strong organizational skills so they can efficiently work with multiple clients and documents. They also need to stay up-to-date on changes in estate laws and other legal matters that may impact their clients’ affairs. This often requires regular participation in continuing education courses and seminars, as well as keeping up with news and reading legal journals.

Many estate planning attorneys belong to local or state-based lawyer associations and councils. These groups offer professional development opportunities as well as networking and business development opportunities. They can also provide a forum to discuss current issues and strategies with fellow members. Many of these organizations have programs that allow members to earn the Accredited Estate Planner (EPLS) designation. This national certification demonstrates that an attorney has the required knowledge, experience, and skills to practice in this field.

An estate planning attorney must have strong analytical and verbal/written communication skills to help their clients through the complex process of preparing for death or incapacity. This involves handling sensitive issues such as a client’s family dynamics, wealth, and property. They also must be able to help their clients cope with the emotional implications of end-of-life planning.

Some estate planning attorneys work in large firms with multiple lawyers. Others are solo practitioners or have small, specialized practices of five or fewer attorneys. This type of environment can influence the quality of an attorney’s services. When choosing an estate planning attorney, it is important to ask about their background and education. It is also helpful to understand how they charge for their services.

Some attorneys charge a flat fee for all services, while others bill by the hour. It is also important to inquire about additional costs that may be incurred, such as filing fees and court charges. This information can help you decide whether an attorney’s fee structure is right for your situation. It is also a good idea to revisit your estate plan every 2 to 3 years, as life events such as remarriage, divorce, long-term disability, or inheritance can alter the original plan.

Lauren Kowalski