If you or a loved one live in Orange County, you may one day seek assistance from an estate planning attorney. An easy way to think about it is this: estate planning lawyers help draft wills, trusts, and other legal documents. They can also offer advice about retirement plans, insurance policies, and charitable contributions. The first step to finding and working with an estate planning attorney is understanding exactly who they are and what they do.

Education

As with any lawyer, those working in estate planning must receive a Juris doctorate, or a law degree from an accredited law school before passing the bar exam. Law students can choose to take classes on asset management, estate planning, family law, taxation, real estate law, and trusts. There are also law schools that offer masters degrees in estate planning.

When seeking these services, you want to be sure that your lawyer has the appropriate education and experience to help with your specific needs. A differently specialized lawyer might be able to handle some of the more straightforward documents, but you’d be remiss not to use someone with an estate planning focus.

What Does An Estate Planning Attorney Do?

Job Description

Estate attorneys help clients determine how to distribute their assets. Your assets are your net worth at any time during your life: property, legal rights, interests, etc. minus any liabilities or debts owed. After a person passes on, his or her estate is distributed via probate court. Having a correctly drafted will ensure that the deceased’s wishes are carried out as desired.

Estate attorneys also help advise clients in their estate planning. Setting up a trust, a process to where assets are set aside for a future beneficiary, can be complicated. There is also a plethora of options when it comes to retirement plans and life insurance policies. While estate attorneys are not financial planners, they can offer fantastic advice in planning for your future.

An estate lawyer also comes in to assist if there are any issues in probate. For example, if someone contests the will or a situation arises outside of the will’s instructions. These cases often go to trial. Your estate planning attorney will go to bat for you in the courtroom to ensure that your wishes are followed.

Required Skills

The most effective estate lawyers are fully experienced with state and federal tax laws, trust, property laws, and real estate. They often work with financial managers and insurance specialists to get the best information for their clients. Being a team player is a must, as well as being an excellent communicator and a sharp organizer. They should also stay up to date on ever-changing tax laws as these changes impact estate values.

Benefits of Estate Planning Attorneys

Orange County estate planning attorneys are an essential part of planning and preparing for the future. They help evaluate and protect your assets before distributing them in the future. Estate law isn’t the most glamorous forms of law, but it is undoubtedly one of the most critical. When planning your estate, make sure to work with a well educated and experienced lawyer; it will make a difference.

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