Opening your own law practice business is always a challenge. One of the many fields of law that are exciting and challenging is estate law. Estate lawyers are responsible for helping clients plan who will receive their funds and belongings after they pass away. Here are some steps and guidelines involved in opening an estate law practice:
To become a lawyer, begin with a bachelor’s degree in law or a related field. Next, you’ll need to attend and pass law school. After graduating, you’ll need to pass the state bar exam. At the beginning of your law career, you’ll need to take the types of cases beginners take to gain funds and experience.
Take Small Jobs in the Beginning
One example of a job a beginner could take is to offer to be part of corporate legal plans. Companies often provide legal services to their employees on legal plans. Performing legal services under these plans will gain you funds and experience. An activity more directly related to your future practice could be working with a probate lawyer who needs another lawyer’s assistance on a probate case. If you’re sure you want to open an estate law practice, the ideal experience would come from working with an established estate law practice.
As your practice builds, you’ll learn estate law cases often involve other fields. Estate plans can include accounting, taxes, and probate law. As you gain experience, connect with people you trust in those other fields to serve as your advisors. Your firm and these advisors can work together and refer cases to each other.
When helping your clients plan for their future, you must advise them to make allowances for the unexpected. Clients don’t expect themselves or their spouses to be hospitalized or go to a nursing home. But, they need to be aware that, according to Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA, only 100 days of nursing home care would be covered by Medicare. You can suggest long-term care insurance or advise them to put aside money to cover those expenses.
While you’re talking with some of your clients, they may mention investment opportunities they’ve heard of online. While your client will make the final decisions about investments, you should assist them in investigating potential financial ventures. After all, according to Cox Law Group, there was a record loss of almost 550 million from internet scams in 2021 in America.
Your client may ask if there is a legal way to ensure a specific amount of their assets goes directly to their spouse. You can tell them there is a legal way to do that. According to Perlin Estate Planning, establishing a SLAT (Spousal Lifetime Access Trust) would allow them to take up to $12.06 million from their estate and put it into a trust for their spouse. This trust would be irrevocable and reduce the tax burden on the person establishing the trust.
When you begin your firm, use customary marketing tools such as a company website and a Facebook page. You can also gain a reputation by holding lunch meetings or seminars open to the community on topics related to estate law. You can publish a monthly blog about similar issues, with a link to your firm’s website. When you’re at a networking event, have a planned introductory speech available to introduce your firm to those you meet.
As an estate attorney, you will help people to protect their assets. To do this job, you’ll need to be thoroughly familiar with the estate laws in your state. If you are a lawyer with an aptitude for finances and a gift for communication, a career in estate law may be for you.