After earning a degree in law, there are a never-ending number of options to specialize in a particular area. There is a possibility that you have heard of estate planning and pondered the possibility of becoming an attorney specializing in estate planning. On the other hand, what exactly does that entail, and how exactly does one go about becoming one? You will be able to learn about estate planning research resources and other tools that you need to know more about with the assistance of this comprehensive guide.
In What Ways Do Estate Lawyers Work?
Attorneys that specialize in estate planning, sometimes known as estate lawyers, are legal advisors who assist individuals in making arrangements for their assets in the event that they become incapacitated or pass away. In order to be successful in this work, you need to possess a significant amount of specific expertise. An effective estate lawyer will not only be familiar with the rules that govern estate planning in their state or territory, but they will also be required to take into account the specific circumstances and assets of their client in order to devise a strategy that is tailored to their specific needs.
It is a difficult job that may include a wide variety of obligations and tasks to be completed daily. Estate planning attorneys may be able to assist with tasks such as the following:
- Making preparations for taxes and transferring assets to members of the family
- Making donations to nonprofit organizations
- Choosing a plan for permanent life insurance
- Making a strategy for the management of wealth
- Creating a comprehensive plan for the client’s assets in order to assist dependents in avoiding the probate court following the client’s death and drafting and collecting all of the necessary documents
- The process of conducting property appraisals
- controlling and keeping track of all of the assets
- Establishing a plan for the repayment of debts
- The granting of guardianship and a power of attorney that is long-lasting for minors
- Submitting all of the paperwork to the court
You Want to Become an Attorney Who Specializes in Estate Planning; Do You Need to Be Certified?
Officially, the answer is no. You do not need to be certified in order to work as an attorney specializing in estate planning. Your ability to provide services related to estate planning will be enhanced if you hold a law degree. Certification, on the other hand, not only offers you access to useful additional information, but it also lends you further credibility in the eyes of prospective customers.
When it comes to being certified as an estate planning attorney, there are a few different paths to choose from. Because every one of these offers a unique set of advantages, it is up to you to determine which one is the most suitable for your requirements and objectives. Options for certification include the following:
CTEP, which stands for Chartered Trust and Estate Planner, One who has attained the level of accreditation necessary to provide services to customers with high incomes is referred to as a Chartered Trust and Estate Planner, or CTEP. The Global Academy of Finance & Management is the organization that is responsible for granting the certification and also for establishing the criteria for qualifying. The completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree program in accounting, law, finance, financial planning, or tax services from a university that has been granted approval is included in this. Additionally, in order to acquire a Certified Trusted Estate Planner (CTEP), individuals must demonstrate a particular level of skill in the subject of estate planning and have a minimum of three years of experience working in the sector. When working with affluent individuals, CTEPs frequently assist with the establishment of trusts, the division of assets, the management of investment accounts, and the organization of corporate assets.
Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) — The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils is the organization that grants certification to individuals who obtain the Accredited Estate Planner designation. It is necessary to have a degree in either law or accounting in addition to a minimum of five years of experience in estate planning in order to obtain the certification. As is the case with CTEP certification, the prerequisites for AEP certification include a predetermined amount of years of continuous education. Accredited Estate Planners work with individuals to arrange their estates in a more general sense; this certification demonstrates a special experience in estate planning, whether for those who are wealthy or middle-class.
The American Bankers Association is the organization that bestows the Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA) accreditation upon its members. Three years of professional experience, completion of a special education course, and successful completion of the accompanying examination are all prerequisites.
In addition, there are additional qualifications that are linked with estate planning that may be beneficial for an attorney. These certifications include accreditation in the areas of finance, tax, or wealth management.
How to Become an Attorney Specializing in Estate Planning
As we have seen, there are multiple paths to take in order to become an attorney specializing in estate planning. Even if you have already started your degree, there are a lot of different ways that you can fulfill your requirements for obtaining experience and certificates in order to specialize in estate planning. The majority of people, on the other hand, adhere to a formula that is predictable.
Acquire Your Degree
Naturally, the first thing you should do is work toward earning your college degree. It could be in the field of law, financial planning, accounting, or another field that is analogous.
Acquire Experience With Professionals
Once you have completed your education, submit an application to an estate planning attorney for an internship or entry-level position.
Enroll in a Law School
One must first enroll in law school and then take the LSAT. The duration of this process is several years.
Get Past the Bar
In order to become a lawyer, you will be required to pass the bar exam. Following completion, you will be able to legally operate in the field of estate planning; however, it is always a good idea to continue your study.
Attempt to Acquire Uncommon Certifications
You are now in a position to pursue a specialized certification in estate planning, such as the CTEP, AEP, or CTFA certification, in order to further develop your competence in this field.
An encouraging piece of information is that there is a plethora of internet resources available to attorneys who are interested in furthering their education. There are websites such as CEB that give you the opportunity to broaden your skills or study for certification.
Those Who Are Interested in Becoming an Estate Planning Attorney Can Benefit From the Following Additional Resources
The practice of estate law is a challenging profession that calls for a significant amount of specialized knowledge and experience. In order to provide evidence for this, it is frequently beneficial to possess experience or credentials in subjects such as accounting, business, or tax law.
It is not always the case that this involves obtaining another degree. Nevertheless, in order to demonstrate that you possess the essential experience to assist your customers, you might wish to enroll in specialized classes or earn one of the appropriate certifications.
The majority of the time, estate lawyers work with high-profile persons, investors, or people who have a significant amount of wealth. For this reason, a significant number of estate law practices collaborate with other services, such as wealth management, accounting, financial consultants, or trust and investment specialists. It goes without saying that these are also fields of study that you might pursue while you are working toward becoming an estate lawyer.
Legal Resources Available to Students
To become an attorney specializing in estate planning, you need to continue your studies. CEB is the resource you require whether you are attempting to improve your knowledge, prepare for your certification, or searching to complete the standards for continual learning that your program requires of you. Since 1947, we have been catering to the continuous educational needs of attorneys in the state of California. CEB is here to assist attorneys in the state of California in becoming more knowledgeable and giving better service to their clients by providing them with a variety of resources, including online courses, law books, and comprehensive databases. Go to our website right now to learn more about the tools that CEB has available!