What Kind of Lawyer Do I Need to Make a Will?

by Laura Wallace Henderson
Estate planning lawyers specialize in wills and trusts.

Estate planning lawyers specialize in wills and trusts.

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Lawyers supply a variety of legal services that range from defending individuals charged with crimes to providing large corporations with legal directives. While some law firms offer general legal assistance in many areas, such as divorce, adoption and basic litigation, lawyers that specialize in estate planning offer legal expertise in the creation of wills and trusts.

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Estate Planning

Estate planning refers to a branch of legal practice that encompasses the area of formulating plans for the management and division of assets after your death. Attorneys that specialize in estate planning can provide valuable advice on trusts, wills, powers of attorney and legal directives regarding your wishes for terminal health care actions and restrictions. Your lawyer can provide valuable advice that may help you determine whether a trust or a will best suits your estate planning needs, based on your individual requirements and the complexity of your estate.

Responsibilities

Your estate planning lawyer can fulfill a number of responsibilities associated with formulating your will or trust. Since your will must meet the legal requirements imposed by the statutes of the state you reside in, contact a lawyer who holds a license to practice in your state of residency. It is your lawyer’s responsibility to understand the governing laws in your state and provide accurate legal advice.

Considerations

A written contract that outlines the duties your lawyer agrees to perform for a specified fee can help avoid misunderstandings regarding the scope of his duties and your agreement. Your lawyer can help you execute your will in the proper manner, such as ascertaining that you sign all documents correctly under the observation of witnesses and notaries public.

Services

Lawyers and law firms provide various individualized services for clients who hire them to provide assistance with estate planning. Your lawyer may supply you with written directives or questions in order to gather information necessary for compiling your will, as well as help you address and consider items and issues you may wish to include as part of the final directives you provide to your executor and beneficiaries. Depending on your individual situation, your lawyer may offer to safeguard your original will in the firm’s vault, as well as provide you with presentation binders that include copies of your documents and a list of duties and directions for your executor.