Estate Planning AttorneyJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

People use estate planning attorneys to help them plan for how their assets will be distributed after they die. To do this, an estate planning attorney drafts documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. These documents can reduce or even eliminate any questions about how an estate should be dispensed.

Though drafting documents is a large part of an estate planning attorney’s job, they can also advise clients about charitable contributions, retirement plans, and life insurance policies. They also collaborate with financial managers and insurance professionals, so teamwork and communication skills are essential. If a case goes to probate court, estate planning attorneys take part in litigating those cases.

Sample job description #1

The position will involve building the existing practice and the potential of serving in a leadership role. We seek an experienced attorney who can immediately assist with significant trusts and estate/tax work and assume responsibility in this very active practice.

Responsibilities and qualifications

  • Experienced estate planning lawyer with broad experience, including complex estate, tax, wealth, and business succession planning
  • Primary areas include estate and tax planning, including estate planning for mid to high net worth individuals and families, income tax, transfer tax and charitable planning, as well as pass-through entity (LLCs and LPs) and business succession planning
  • Drafting of both basic and sophisticated estate planning documents, including income and estate tax planning documents, irrevocable trusts, and business planning documents
  • Counseling fiduciaries in estate and trust settlement and administration

Experience and skills

  • Juris Doctorate
  • Admission to the Tennessee Bar
  • 7+ years of estate planning experience
  • CPA/LLM in tax preferred, but not required
  • Exhibit excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent organizational, analytical skills, and attention to detail
  • Must possess excellent interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated client relationship skills, including the ability to lead in-person client meetings

Sample job description #2

If you are ready to take the next step in your career, then we invite you to apply to our firm. We are selective in who we hire, and our interview process is rigorous because we value the culture we have instituted at our firm. We have cultivated a remarkable team that embraces the belief that the work we do is more than just a job, it is a way to help protect the lives of the families we serve.

Responsibilities

  • Conduct initial consultation with clients
  • Identify the appropriate strategy to meet the client’s expressed objectives and make recommendations to fulfill those objectives including advising on the appropriate type of trust(s) to meet the client’s objectives
  • Draft estate planning documents, including wills, distinct types of trusts, ancillary documents, etc.
  • Ability to explain complex legal concepts and explain all provisions of the estate plan to the client
  • Ability to self-start, meet deadlines, prioritize, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and work well with change in a fast-paced environment
  • Regularly consult with clients, accountants, financial advisors, and other parties as needed to effectively move cases forward
  • Cultivate relationships with the firm’s existing and future clients by maintaining consistent and timely communication
  • Report on caseload at a weekly case review meeting
  • Develop a client following to increase the firm’s revenues

Qualifications

  • Preferred 3+ years of estate planning experience handling matters from inception to conclusion, including meeting with clients, developing a strategy for an estate plan, and preparing the appropriate estate plan documents to meet the client’s objectives
  • Effective, clear, concise, and accurate communication, both oral and written, at an appropriate level to the situation and the client
  • Working knowledge of finance, investments, and taxes
  • Great ability to focus under pressure and the willingness to do what needs to be done
  • Demonstrate a high degree of discretion, confidentiality, and integrity in the handling of personal client information, including following the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Have strong computer skills with extensive experience using MS Office Suite, timekeeping, and case management software
  • Experience with Wealth Counsel drafting is desired
  • Tax experience or CPA a plus
  • A transferrable book of business is a BIG plus

Sample job description #3

Our rapidly growing client is seeking an experienced estate planning attorney to work alongside the firm partners, financial advisors, and CPAs to provide estate and business planning services to their clients.

Responsibilities

  • Drafting legal agreements
  • Reviewing estate plans and other documents/agreements prepared by legal assistants
  • Responding to client email inquiries and phone calls
  • Assisting in the design and implementation of advanced estate planning solutions
  • Assisting in the design and implementation of charitable planning solutions
  • Read and interpret new tax laws and legislative updates
  • Educating firm’ s financial advisors and CPAs about certain legal matters pertaining to common clients
  • Attending prospective client meetings

Requirements

  • Licensed attorney in good standing in Texas
  • Minimum of 4 years of estate planning experience
  • Desire to meet with clients regularly

Estate Planning Attorney benefits

  • Group Medical Insurance Plan, including $450/month allowance
  • Unlimited earning potential
  • 401(k) match up to 4%
  • Remote opportunity
  • Unlimited Paid Time Off

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an estate planning attorney is $120,000 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$119,350$161,450
Los Angeles, California$134,650$182,150
Denver, Colorado$112,200$151,800
Washington, DC$136,700$184,900
Miami, Florida$111,700$151,100
Orlando, Florida$103,000$139,400
Tampa, Florida$104,050$140,750
Atlanta, Georgia$109,150$147,650
Chicago, Illinois$125,450$169,750
Boston, Massachusetts$135,650$183,550
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$108,100$142,300
New York City, New York$142,800$193,200
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$116,300$157,300
Dallas, Texas$113,200$153,200
Houston, Texas$112,200$151,800
Seattle, Washington$130,550$176,650
National Average$102,000$138,000

Sample interview questions

  • What experiences have you had with estate planning?
  • How long have you been a practicing lawyer?
  • How do you make sure to communicate clearly with clients?
  • What do you first do when presented with a legal issue?
  • How do you handle and deal with stressful trials?
  • What did you do when you encountered an experience that challenged your ethical concerns?
  • What’s an example of when you demonstrated maximum effort by working really long hours?
  • How do you assemble requisite arguments in order to bring others to your side?
  • Describe one experience when you ended up presenting evidence to defend clients and it resulted in prosecuting defendants in criminal or civil litigation.
  • How do you organize, plan, and prioritize your work?
  • Is analyzing data a strength?
  • How do you handle feedback?
  • Tell me about your law school internship or externship. 
  • What is your favorite part about this line of work?
  • Why did you choose the school that you went to?

Estate Planning Attorney Jobs in Ashburn

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