How do these attorneys do this? And what is their background?

Understanding The Role Of Estate Planning Attorneys

estate planning wills, trust, probate

For one, these attorneys are all bar-certified. They have all graduated from reputable law schools, and have passed the bar examination in the state of Ohio. Only legal professionals with valid credentials are able to engage in estate planning projects.

How do these attorneys specialize?

For one, legal professionals looking to focus on estate planning must understand tax law. Therefore, they study a lot of the same tax regulations that an accountant might study before taking the exam to become a CPA. Much of estate planning is about avoiding undue taxation.

In addition, these attorneys research all of the vehicles that people can use to prepare their estates. These vehicles might include:

  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Grantor-Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs)
  • Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLATs)
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs)
  • Living Trusts (Revocable Trusts)

The papers these attorneys help draft will outline the plans for distribution. These plans dictate how property, investment accounts, and other assets will be distributed among beneficiaries.

Having a full understanding of probate — and, specifically, the probate laws in Ohio for those attorneys working in Cincinnati — is another part of the preparation. In some cases, clients will want to avoid probate. For this to happen, the attorney must understand which types of assets will pass directly to beneficiaries without involving the probate court.

There is some overlap between the world of financial planning and the world of estate planning law. But while a financial planner usually focuses on current preparations for wealth building and investment allocations, an attorney well-versed in estate planning can draft the formal documentation necessary to make the legal preparations for incapacitation and death. While it may be uncomfortable predicting a future in which you yourself may be unable to deal with your financial concerns, living trusts can put plans into place. Knowing every question that needs to be answered, and every loose end that needs to be tied up — these are central parts of the attorney’s job.

Charitable contributions, life insurance policies, and retirement plans also figure into the work that these estate planning attorneys take on. The planning always involves protecting the investment assets. The attorneys also make sure that insurance policies are paid in full (i.e. valid), up to date, and honored by the granting companies in question.

Attorneys who work in this field are experienced and knowledgeable regarding both the relevant laws and legal precedents, as well as the ethics of estate law. They also do a great deal of detailed research into the Uniform Probate Code. This Code imposes the limits and rules on trusts and Will documentation. Legal documents that go against the strictures of the Uniform Probate Code can be challenged in court, so legal teams working on estate planning take special care to stay within the bounds of these rules.