Should I Hire an Accountant or an Attorney?

Making the decision who gets what when you die is one thing. Having the legal paperwork to ensure that things are done the way you want them done is another, and when it comes to hiring what professional to get the job done, choosing an estate planning attorney over an accountant is a wise decision. Here’s why. Also known as a probate attorney, an estate planning attorney specializes specifically in estate planning. This professional knows about state and federal laws that affect the power of attorney, trusts, and wills. Want to leave everything to your favorite grandson? Looking to avoid probate? Don’t want anyone to contest your will? Have a complicated estate? Having an estate planning attorney can address these issues for you, and if your estate is especially large, you’ll probably want to hire a fiduciary financial advisor, too. A fiduciary financial advisor can help you develop a smart investment strategy.

Source: Fundera

All About an Estate Planning Attorney

An estate planning attorney is exactly what the words sound like. It is an attorney who specializes in managing all of an estate’s matters like attorneys who specialize in personal injury lawsuits or merges and acquisitions, and estate planning attorney has passed the bar exam in the state where they practice law.

The difference between these attorneys lies in the education and experience throughout the years. In addition, estate planning attorneys may also have different certifications in specific estate planning areas. The duties of an estate planning attorneys are many. However, the end goal is to help clients prepare their finances for their end of life. An estate planning attorney can assist you in writing up a trust or last will and testament. In addition, an estate planning attorney helps minimize inheritance taxes and estate taxes. After you die, an estate planning attorney will work with the executor of your will in transferring all assets to the named beneficiaries. Your estate planning attorney will also help your beneficiaries navigate the complex probate process when estate planning attorney can also assist you in different scenarios. For example, if you are unable to make your own decisions which sound mind, an estate planning attorney can help assign a power of attorney or draw up an advanced directive. In a nutshell, and a state planning attorney is a legal guide in all the preparations for the end of life.

Source: Kevin Kenney

What to Be on the Look for When Seeking an Estate Planning Attorney

You could always find an estate planning attorney from the State Bar Association. Another resource to find an estate planning attorney is your financial advisor. Financial advisors usually refer attorneys for specific needs.

An estate planning attorney doesn’t typically have any noted special certifications after their name. Instead, they are referred to as state planning professionals or estate planning lawyers. Their practice is entirely focused on a state planning. They also may have experience in different aspects of estate planning. Just be sure to work with an estate planning attorney who is state specific. This is very important when doing your estate planning. That’s because the probate procedures and laws are different state by state. Even at the local level, estate laws vary.

When planning an estate, there are always emotional and difficult decisions to be made. You’ll be disclosing a lot of personal information to your estate planning attorney. It’s important that you are comfortable with your estate planning attorney. The whole process will be a lot easier on you if you feel at ease with your estate planning attorney.

Source: Medium

Estate Planning Certifications

While an estate planning attorney doesn’t need specific certifications in order to practice estate law, they have the option to attain additional credentials. And some of these certifications are also available to accountants and financial advisors.

The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils gives out the accredited estate planner designation to certified financial advisors, licensed attorneys, chartered life underwriters and certified public accountants. The requirements to attain this award entail taking two graduate courses through the American College of Financial Services, 5 years of experience in estate planning and 30 hours of continuing education classes every two years.

The American Academy of Financial Management grants the Chartered Trust and Estate Planner designation. This designation requires a degree in financial services, accounting, law, or finance. Those with a JD, PhD, CPA, or MS can also qualify. Other qualifications that are required for this specific designation include finishing a certification training course, completing five approved courses and continuing education on a yearly basis.

Both the Institute of Certified Bankers and the American Bankers Association give out the certified Trust and Financial Advisor designation. Those who want this certification must meet specific criteria. The criteria include 3 years of experience in wealth management, a signed ethic statement, letter of recommendation, completion of a wealth management training program and 45 hours of continuing education every 3 years.


Without a doubt, planning out your estate is it complicated process as there are many decisions that must be made. An estate planning attorney can lighten your load and develop an estate planning plan that is designed for your specific situation. Don’t want there to be a fight over an estate? Want to leave specific assets to specific loved ones? Want to avoid the probate process? Let an estate planning attorney pave the way for you. With the assistance of this professional, you’ll have confidence knowing that things will be done exactly the way you wish them to be done.

While it’s never pleasant to think about, you should always have your house in order. There may even come at time when you cannot make decisions for yourself due to health issues. Having a living will or an advanced directive can help you in these situations. This way, both doctors and family members know exactly what you want. To accomplish all of this, you’ll need a comprehensive financial plan and then an estate planning attorney to help you write up a will. Is your house in order? If not, contact an estate planning attorney today such as one from Hackard Law. You’ll be glad you did.

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