General Duties of the Estate Planning and Administration Paralegal

The general duties of a legal assistant in estate planning and administration involve the gathering and recording of financial information for use by the attorney in his advisory function in estate planning and his guidance in the administration of a decedent's estate.

Examples of the types of matters handled by an estate planning paralegal would be:

1. Interviewing the client for information after the client's initial interview with the attorney; gathering facts; and assembling assets in preparation for drafting a will;

2. Drafting the initial inventory of assets and appraisal documents;

3. Researching the federal tax laws and their ramifications for possible application in the estate planning process;

4. Preparing memorandum regarding the estate planning for the attorney;

5. Drafting initial trust agreements;

6. Reviewing and updating wills to keep abreast of the changes to the law and/or the status of the client;

Examples of the types of matters handled by a paralegal for administration of a decedent's estate would be:

1. Interviewing the client for information after the client's initial interview with the attorney; gathering facts; and assembling assets in preparation for the probate of a will or intestate (without a will) administration of a deceased client's estate;

2. Gathering a list of assets and preparing a court inventory;

3. Developing financial data required for the completion of the appropriate state and federal tax returns;

4. Initiating administration of an estate; preparing court documents and preparing filing and noticing procedures necessary for obtaining an appointment to administer to a decedent's estate;

5. Accumulating marketing, acquiring, listing and inventory of the assets of the estate; and

6. Preparing interim and final accounting documents; prepare petitions for sale or distribution; preparing court petitions and following discharge of executor or administrator or trustee in case of a trust.

These examples set out only some of the responsibilities and roles of a paralegal in estate planning and administration but do not include them all.



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