• K. Kelso Law

How to Become an Estate Planning Attorney

Updated: May 31



Being an estate planning attorney is a great career if you have the patience to see it through. It can take time to break into the field, but once you’re in, it’s a rewarding job. People trust you with their estate's planning process, and you get to help them make sure their loved ones are cared for after they’re gone. This career can help individuals, families, and friends find peace and ease when their loved one passes away, knowing that you helped get their assets in order before their passing.

What is an Estate Planner?


Estate planning attorneys offer guidance on preparing one's affairs and assets before mental incapacitation or in case of death – because, let's face it, we're all going to kick the bucket someday. Estate planning attorneys have years of experience in education, mentoring, and legal practice. Without a trusted attorney, decisions about assets and properties would be left to the next of kin, which can be messy and dramatic for some families.

Reasons Why You Should Become an Estate Planning Attorney


1. You are able to think long-term and plan for the future.

As an estate planner, you work closely with families over a long period of time, helping them even through generations. If one client passes away, it’s common for their other family members to enlist you as their estate planning attorney for themselves or other loved ones.


2. You love to help people.

Assisting clients towards the end of their life is a delicate job and one that requires empathy and care. If helping people is among your greatest joys, becoming an estate-planning lawyer might be the ideal career for you. If your client dies, you will likely have to speak to their family members and loved ones. This requires that you be able to help others in difficult times.


3. You enjoy working in financial and taxation situations.

Clients trust their estate planners with their money and assets, so it’s important that you have a good understanding of managing funds. As an estate planning attorney, you will manage their property, assets, trust funds, investments, insurance, and savings and checking accounts.


What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do?

  • Construct a living will, last will, and testament

  • Set up and manage trust accounts

  • Naming an executor and power of attorneys

  • Identifying all beneficiaries

  • Naming a guardian for minor children

  • Managing debts and minimizing taxes and legal fees

  • Creating a blueprint or a set of instructions for passing your valuables

  • Ensuring preferences for funeral arrangements are taken into consideration

  • Finalizing instructions for care if you become ill and are unable to make decisions

  • Obtaining life insurance, disability income insurance, and long-term care insurance


How to Become an Estate Planning Attorney

If you’re interested in becoming an estate planning attorney, it’s crucial to get a strong education and as much experience as possible. Specializing in finance, tax, and accounting can be a strong starting point, but ultimately having a degree from an accredited law school is essential. You also need to take and pass the state bar exam in order to receive your law degree.


If you’re considering becoming an estate planning attorney, it’s good to recognize the skills that are important to have as well as the duties and responsibilities of being a good attorney. Reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorney for some first-hand insight.

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