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Overview

Trusts and estates attorneys work with individuals and families to help them structure their finances so as to efficiently transfer property from one generation to the next or from one person to another. Attorneys in this area must be well-versed in tax law and able to think strategically about how to achieve optimal tax results when estate planning. The work involves drafting estate plans and related documents, creating wills, counseling clients, and administering estates (in and out of court). Lawyers should be familiar with family law and elder law and may be called upon to draft powers of attorney and advance medical directives.  In some cases, trusts and estates lawyers must flex their corporate law muscles, as businesses can sometimes be held in a trust. This work is often done in small boutiques, though most large law firms have a small group too. Similar to a tax practice, the law here is complicated and ever-changing, so it requires practitioners to stay up to date on statues, regulations, and court decisions. A challenge in this practice is translating complicated law into language a client can understand.

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