Estates and Trusts Paralegal

 

Live in the moment is the mantra of our society. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Rather, live each moment to the fullest. This mentality is a healthy one, one that can only be enriched by putting personal affairs in order through the expertise of those who work in the Estates and Trusts area of law.  

Estates and Trusts Law – A Definition

Estates and Trusts Law is the area of law that governs and manages an individual’s personal affairs in the event of incapacity or loss of life. 

Focus of Estates and Trusts Law

Estates and Trusts attorneys advise and assist an Executor (Personal Representative) and beneficiaries in settling the affairs of a deceased person. This may include:

  • Finding and securing probate and non-probate assets
  • Collecting proceeds from life insurance
  • Addressing tax issues
  • Advising on decedents final bill payments
  • Settling disputes among beneficiaries
  • Assisting with the sale of estate property
  • Preparing and filing all documents required in the probate process

To learn more about the probate process, view Paralegal Probate Law: Ten Steps in Formal Probate Proceeding presented by AIPS instructor and attorney, Susan Bechard:  http://youtu.be/m8EM1xf-j40

Role of Estates and Trusts Paralegal

A paralegal, under the supervision of an attorney, will perform many of the same tasks an attorney performs. Following are some tasks you may perform as a paralegal in this area of law:

Estates:

  • Draft probate pleadings
  • Notify creditors
  • Transfer assets into the name of the estate and/or trust
  • Prepare an inventory listing of the assets beginning with the date of death
  • Prepare an accounting from the date of death through the closing of the probate process
  • Prepare fiduciary tax returns
  • Prepare and file estate tax returns
  • Transfer assets to beneficiaries

Trusts:

  • Obtain a tax ID number and draft tax returns
  • Draft trust agreements, inventories, petitions and pleadings
  • Oversee distributions from trusts and transfers of assets into trusts
  • Maintain financial records of trusts; perform trust accounting and analysis
  • Make income payments to trust beneficiaries

The Elder Law Connection

Estates and Trusts Law plays a huge part in Elder Law. To learn more about Elder Law, check out the following website: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/elder_info/elderlaw_info.asp. To learn more about the role of an Elder Law paralegal, follow this link: http://www.aips.com/elder-lawestate-planning-paralegal/

AIPS 100% Online Paralegal Program

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