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Wills and Estates Paralegal

Help Lawyers draft and execute wills on behalf of clients.

What does a Wills and Estates Paralegal do?

Like they say, only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. And as a Wills and Estates Paralegal, you deal with both.

A will is a document that gives instructions to family members about what should be done with a person’s things after they die. And an estate is a fancy way of saying house and things. And a Wills and Estates Paralegal does all the things a regular Paralegal does-research old cases, find pertinent laws, create documents, and organize trial dates-but all as they relate to wills, estates, and the taxes they accrue.

Your job responsibilities as a Wills and Estates Paralegal can be divided into two parts-those done before a death and those done after. Before a death, you deal with the client directly. You might help draw up their will, which involves gathering information on their properties and heirs, and drafting papers for the courts. You maintain contact with the client, doing things like mailing documents to them, answering their phone calls, or interviewing them for more facts.

After a client dies, your job responsibilities change. Now, you help with the distribution of assets, call family members and friends who are named in the will, and handle any income or estate taxes that need to be paid. The only things you can’t do as a Wills and Estates Paralegal are present a case in court, give legal advice, or set legal fees. And since you do a lot of tax-related work, a previous knowledge of accounting and taxes will help.