Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

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yorkville

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Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby yorkville » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:05 pm

Does anyone here work in trusts and estates or knows someone who does? I am really interested in this kind of work and have been for quite some time but it is very hard to find someone to speak to who works in the field. That's why I'm trying here :D It seems to be a field of law with a lot of client contact (I like this) and where you can follow clients from birth to death. It's seemingly got more of a counseling role and the need for interpersonal skills, but I also appreciate.

I've been doing a lot of reading on these fora and someone said this:

Similar to tax practice, this is a complex, statutory practice. The law evolves very quickly and there is a wide variety of authority, including case law, revenue rulings, statutes, etc. This is mostly a non-adversarial practice. The day-to-day work involves drafting of estate plans and sub-documents, counseling clients, and administering estates both in and out of court. This practice does not have many deadlines. People who fail in this practice sometimes have problems discussing the complex law in plain English, don’t like the complexity, or get pigeon-holed into one small section of the practice, which can be boring.

I love all of this! The minutiae of statutes, having to deal with taxes, drafting tons of documents, counseling clients, possibly going into court but not being adversarial all the time. Yes, I am fun at parties, I promise. :mrgreen:

Do trust and estate attorneys work in large firms? Or do they set up shop on their own right away? Could a trusts and estates attorney be employed not just by a law firm but also by a wealth management firm? I am not money or prestige-oriented but it’s good to know if one can make a comfortable living doing this. I own a consulting firm in a legal-adjacent industry, so I am no familiar to opening up my own company. My end goal would be to do a few years in a firm to gain experience and contacts and then open my own boutique trusts and estates practice.

Thanks, all.

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby jagpaw » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:31 am

Bump

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:10 am

I started off doing estate planning in biglaw, but moved to general tax after a couple of years. So yes, there's estate planners at big firms, but not as many as there used to be, because it's not necessarily seen as a money-maker (although our group was profitable). I saw people lateral to wealth management firms, and also go out on their own - once you have a stable of clients, they're pretty portable, but of course, they need to be YOUR clients, not a partner's clients. The issue is, of course, finding enough super wealthy people to pay big law rates, if that's your goal - your average person doesn't want to pay $5,000 for basic wills, powers of attorney, etc., and certainly won't need you to create multiple charitable trusts or whatever.

If you want to do estate planning at a big firm, I think you need to really gun for it - take all the classes in law school, make it super clear to firms that's what you want to do, and then hope they have an opening when it's time to start. If you don't get into the estate planning group when you start, it may be better to go work for a smaller estate planning shop and then lateral to a big firm when they have an opening if you're truly committed to estate planning. And also it doesn't hurt to have a CPA or accounting degree, although if you're already in law school there's not much you can do about that. Consider getting an LLM - that seemed to be something my firm was pushing when I was there, and could be a good way to get your foot back in the door if you miss the chance the first time around.

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby jagpaw » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I started off doing estate planning in biglaw, but moved to general tax after a couple of years. So yes, there's estate planners at big firms, but not as many as there used to be, because it's not necessarily seen as a money-maker (although our group was profitable). I saw people lateral to wealth management firms, and also go out on their own - once you have a stable of clients, they're pretty portable, but of course, they need to be YOUR clients, not a partner's clients. The issue is, of course, finding enough super wealthy people to pay big law rates, if that's your goal - your average person doesn't want to pay $5,000 for basic wills, powers of attorney, etc., and certainly won't need you to create multiple charitable trusts or whatever.

If you want to do estate planning at a big firm, I think you need to really gun for it - take all the classes in law school, make it super clear to firms that's what you want to do, and then hope they have an opening when it's time to start. If you don't get into the estate planning group when you start, it may be better to go work for a smaller estate planning shop and then lateral to a big firm when they have an opening if you're truly committed to estate planning. And also it doesn't hurt to have a CPA or accounting degree, although if you're already in law school there's not much you can do about that. Consider getting an LLM - that seemed to be something my firm was pushing when I was there, and could be a good way to get your foot back in the door if you miss the chance the first time around.


Thanks. What made you switch over from estate planning to general tax? How does your lifestyle/overall satisfaction compare?

yorkville

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby yorkville » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:43 pm

Thank you for the replies, everyone! :)

I would also be interested in hearing why you switched from trusts and estates to tax.

Truth be told, I am also interested in tax. Are hours a bit better for tax associates at NYC firms?

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:21 pm

Bump I am very interested in this field and tax too. I am a first year associate with a CPA background but am doing something completely different in big law right now (cap markets) and am thinking of ways to lateral to a different firm. My dream is to utilize my law degree as well as my CPA background to do this kind of work and someday be able to run my own business.

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:22 pm

Anonymous former estate planner here - I switched mostly because I knew I didn't have the personality to get the high net worth clients needed to be an estate planner in big law (going to the club, golfing, sending my kids to elite private schools, etc.), and because another one of our tax specialty groups desperately needed someone and it seemed like a growing area with more opportunity. I have no desire to go out on my own and hang up my own shingle, so I wanted to make sure I was in the best position possible to remain consistently employed. Sometimes I regret the change, because the estate planning group was really great and I loved all the people, but doing other types of tax work is also fine.

yorkville

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby yorkville » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:39 pm

Hey Anonymous, I too would like to open up my own business. I'm looking to maybe do a few years of Biglaw just to get an "in" and then would ideally hang up my own shingle with a boutique tax and trusts/estates firm.

This field is very interesting to me!

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby jagpaw » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:53 pm

I would imagine that the difference in pace in trusts and estates versus transactional tax (in a deal capacity) was quite a change, correct? I’ve that T&E practitioners generally work on longer timelines and there are relatively few fire drills, but not sure if that’s accurate?

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:40 am

Anonymous former estate planner here: Oh for sure, estate planning in big law is probably the most chill of any big law job - other than filing gift tax returns (which are usually handled by accountants) and dealing with probate, there generally aren't deadlines, so if you're slammed you don't need to work all night or anything like that. But you're also at the beck and call of extremely wealthy individuals who are used to, you know, getting their way with things, so if someone wants you to bring them documents to their summer house, you can't really say no, or if a major client goes into the hospital while you're on vacation, you might need to come back early. And there are plenty of areas of estate planning (outside of just doing simple wills/trusts/powers of attorney) where you may need to work late - if the client is selling their business and needs estate planning as part of that, etc.

Remember, it's still big law - you'll need to hit your hours, and frankly if you have a 100 hour month, it's almost impossible to make it up throughout the course of the year. But if your goal is really just to do big law estate planning for a few years and then get out and start your own practice, then you may not care if you hit your hours as long as you're close enough that no one wants to get rid of you.

One thing to really consider is that now that the estate tax limit has been doubled, it really is only the super wealthy who care about the more complicated tax planning. If you have less than $10 million, there's less concerns about estate taxes, GST, whatever.

Another thought is that there's also some overlap with nonprofit work (forming private foundations) - and if you're trying to set yourself up for a career in estate planning for wealthier individuals, you'll want to understand charitable giving, how to form a private foundation, and maybe get some experience in that area.

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:13 pm

Another Anonymous former estate planner here. Agree very much with last poster, wanted to add that I left estate planning for fund formation, which is also a pretty low key transnational practice, very similar in that it's mostly churning out docs with an eye to tax implications. T&E is more code based than funds, but neither require much case law, unless you end up on the lit side of estate planning, which is by the way, a large practice and many big law shops hide their T&E practice in what is really a T&E lit group. T&E itself is a brutal business model for big law - very tough for partners to leverage associates due to lack of normal junior associate activities - depos, doc review, due diligence, etc. I was big law for 5+ years and really never did any of that. The flip side is that you often work on 10+ matters per day, which makes billing very difficult. Clients, even billionaires, are cost conscious when they're paying their bill out of pocket. I worked for certain clients on the T&E side who would scrutinize small bills and then pay large funds bills without reviewing them - just human nature as the funds bills were payed by the fund and not by the founder/PM. I did T&E for a few years and then funds for a few years and then went in-house to a family office. There's a lot of work in this field and there's not a ton of T&E associates, so for that reason, it's a solid path. Making partner is just a matter of building your client base to compete with your partners who are cranking out deals and lit matters. Doable, but not easy, especially with the increased tax exemptions referenced by the previous poster. I never wanted to exit to the financial planner role, I prefer the legal side, but that's absolutely an option as well, with similar pros/cons, but at least you can get some AUM fee.

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:29 pm

Thanks to both anons above. I've had similar questions as some of the earlier posters, and as op mentioned it can be tough to get into contact with people who have experience in the field given how small the T&E community is.

So (to both of you, generally) one thing that I'm curious about is how you've liked transitioning from T&E, which I imagine is a somewhat interactive practice requiring a fair amount of interpersonal skills, to a more impersonal practice like funds work. You describe both as partly just churning out docs, but the appeal of T&E to me is more the personal component. Is the work generally pretty dry? How would you rate overall satisfaction and lifestyle across both specialties? While trying to describe anything in Big Law as "rewarding" is probably a stretch, I would think that if there were anything close it would be in T&E (counseling families, protecting assets, intellectual stimulating in the same way tax can be but w/o the frequency of deal deadlines, etc.).

Separately, how has your experience fared working for a family office? I've heard that these can be ideal in-house gigs to land, and for a finance guy working in transactional tax, it sounds like something I might be interested in (I'd love to be in a hybrid legal/finance role one day). Don't feel obliged to overshare but any information on hours, comp, lifestyle, satisfaction etc. generally would be helpful (if either of you have a throwaway email/account I'd love to get in touch).

Finally, you mentioned that exiting to a wealth management firm is not uncommon. How often is that done, and what are those jobs generally like in terms of the same lifestyle considerations mentioned above?

Thanks a ton!

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:27 am

Second anonymous poster here. You're absolutely right that T&E has a personal component - I guess the main difference is the subject matter much of the work. In T&E the backbone of the conversations involve death, marriages, selling a closely held business, how to treat spouse/kids/spouses of kids/parents, etc., where funds work is focused on the business model/ plan of the fund. I knew some T&E attorneys who loved being involved in the personal/family matters and others (the tax nerd type) who hated that part. I was somewhere in between. Your clients need to be very rich to pay $500-$1k/hour for partial therapy sessions. And yes, I do think the work can be rewarding, one wrinkle is that satisfaction is often delayed for your clients - you set up a great plan, etc., and then they see no immediate gratification other than peace of mind. Contrast that with winning a lit case or selling a company as an M&A attorney. That delayed gratification also plays a role in price sensitivity.

Family office work has been a good fit for me. It allows me to play more of a generalist role instead of taking deep dives, which fits my personality. It's cliche, but every family office is different so it's impossible to make any general statements. It depends on the size of assets, whether the family has an operating business, goals of family, generational timing, personalities of family members, etc etc. More interesting to me if the family still runs their operating business rather than having cashed out.

Wealth management is very common, I know lots of ex-T&E attorneys who went to be "books on the shelf" in private client groups at large banks or trust companies. Generally they are happy. Good hours, some travel, mostly relationship building with clients, comp is mid-senior associate level but of course depends.

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:41 am

For me, big law T&E practice wasn't really *that* satisfying - helping extraordinarily wealthy people make sure they didn't have to pay extra taxes doesn't feel super great at the end of the day, you know? I did like the client contact and forming personal relationships with people, but I think it's a bit difficult to draw the lines between friendship and the client relationship for T&E attorneys (not saying you can't be friends with your clients, but it's different than being friends with an employee of a corporate client).

I actually did a fair bit of non-T&E work when I was doing T&E to make sure I was hitting my billables, so it wasn't really a big transition when I cut that part out of my practice, and I was fairly junior. Ultimately a lot of the *actual* work in my area of practice now is similar - at the end of the day, you're drafting documents, looking at the tax code, and trying to keep clients and partners happy. I work a little more now (I've also lateraled to another firm), but I feel like I have pretty good long-term prospects in my practice area that better suit my personality.

If you're really interested in doing the work, you should definitely reach out to partners etc. in the area. Just tell them exactly what you told us - you're interested in doing T&E work, and you'd like to learn more about their practice. Some will respond and some won't, but I can't think of anyone at my old firm who wouldn't have said yes to going out for coffee or lunch to talk about their practice.

yorkville

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby yorkville » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:17 pm

OP here.

First off... holy typos, Batman! I just now realized how many typos there were in my initial posts made on mobile. Mea culpa :lol:

On a lighter note, thanks to all for the replies. I feel that this is a good discussion and I am getting some good information. I think what appeals to me most about T&E is that it is heavily client-focused and it is also not terribly adversarial.

What can I do as someone applying for law schools to ensure that I a) learn as much about this practice area I can and b) possibly summer at a firm with a good T&E practice? Now, dumber questions incoming: is a tax LL.M. a necessity or could one get hired fresh out of law school and then maybe the firm would pay for it in the future? How can you ensure you will be placed in the T&E practice? Is clerking in the U.S. Tax Court a necessity (or any other federal clerkship)? Can anyone speak more to the work of a T&E or tax attorney in a bank or trust company, i.e. hours, workload, salary, how much experience is needed before going to one? Can anyone give an example of a trust company?

I like the idea of e-mailing partners; I really want to make it clear that I am highly interested in this field! Thanks again, all! Much appreciated.

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For me, big law T&E practice wasn't really *that* satisfying - helping extraordinarily wealthy people make sure they didn't have to pay extra taxes doesn't feel super great at the end of the day, you know? I did like the client contact and forming personal relationships with people, but I think it's a bit difficult to draw the lines between friendship and the client relationship for T&E attorneys (not saying you can't be friends with your clients, but it's different than being friends with an employee of a corporate client).

I actually did a fair bit of non-T&E work when I was doing T&E to make sure I was hitting my billables, so it wasn't really a big transition when I cut that part out of my practice, and I was fairly junior. Ultimately a lot of the *actual* work in my area of practice now is similar - at the end of the day, you're drafting documents, looking at the tax code, and trying to keep clients and partners happy. I work a little more now (I've also lateraled to another firm), but I feel like I have pretty good long-term prospects in my practice area that better suit my personality.

If you're really interested in doing the work, you should definitely reach out to partners etc. in the area. Just tell them exactly what you told us - you're interested in doing T&E work, and you'd like to learn more about their practice. Some will respond and some won't, but I can't think of anyone at my old firm who wouldn't have said yes to going out for coffee or lunch to talk about their practice.



Thank you to both anons and all posters. Does anyone have any insight to what T&E litigation is like? I understand that it can be more adversarial given the stakes and inter-family bickering, but for someone who is interested in T&E but would also like to dip into litigation generally, it seems like it be a nice change of pace from day-to-day drafting work.

yorkville

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby yorkville » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:29 pm

Honestly T&E seems like to me it has it all. Drafting, codes, statutes, client contact, a little bit of litigation, etc. It sounds really like a great practice area. Or are we just starry eyed noobs?

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:07 pm

I think if you're really, truly committed to T&E (after talking to partners, etc.), you would want to do T&E work at a small firm in the summer or work for like, a nonprofit like Legal Counsel for the Elderly, during law school do a clinic the prepares wills etc., and then hustle your butt off to land a summer position at a firm that does T&E work. I think networking is really going to be key - if you spend a year of law school networking with T&E attorneys, going to the ABA trusts and estate section meetings, seeing if you can sit in on the local bar's T&E meetings, you'll probably have some good connections to help you land a spot somewhere your 2L summer. Getting into a T&E practice at a big law firm is probably a crapshoot - you can go to a firm with the intention of doing T&E work and they might love you, but if they don't need to hire someone every year (and they probably won't - most groups are kind of small), then you'll be out of luck. If what you want is big law and you miss it the first time around, you may consider doing an LLM from Gtown or NYU. I lucked into T&E just by chance, so I didn't do any of that and still got it, but if it's something you're committed to, I think you'll want to put yourself in the best position possible. Firms will generally pay for you to get your LLM while you're there if that's something you decide to do instead.

Clerking isn't required, but if you can get a clerkship and can spin it on the T&E litigation side of things, that may be helpful, but really it'll depend on the type of clerkship (prestigious = great, maybe tax court is good, but like, random local court is probably not helpful). Only one of the T&E folks at my firm did a clerkship though, so YMMV.

yorkville

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby yorkville » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:40 pm

Thank you! I will take all of this into consideration.

I am open to an LL.M. but I don't know if I would want to take on that kind of additional debt myself. I'd have to finagle a way for a firm to pay for it! :lol:

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:57 pm

I thought I'd add some very general thoughts about estate law planning.

One advantage is I've noticed in estate law planning is less of a strict hierarchy compared to other legal practices. I've seen estate law planning attorneys out of law schools I've never heard of or from backgrounds years ago that don't have anything to do with estate law planning, but they're charging high fees and getting clients. On the flipside, I have seen solo attorneys with biglaw tax backgrounds with NYU Tax LLMs charging less than these attorneys. It really depends on how you want to do your practice and what clients you want to go for. It's really a crapshoot in terms of who's successful and who's not, and who's getting the clients.

Also, a lot of the larger amounts of money is in trust disputes where you'll find more billable hours. I've noticed a lot of small estate law planning firms also do other things to supplement their practice (tax, small business disputes). I've seen a lot of Family Law Firms advertise probate/estate law planning services but most of their practice seems to be sustained by Family Law, and it's weird but firms I've seen do this don't tend to have very successful estate law planning practices even though I originally thought they would because it's somewhat related (family law, estate law planning, elder law are all kind of linked). Instead, it seems the wealthier clients want a different divorce attorney from their estate law planning attorney - or maybe they're just unhappy/distrusting of their family law attorney?

Also, work on wills & trusts is pretty flexible. You can totally work from home. Meet clients at restaurants and bars. I do a lot of schmoozing with wealth managers at cafes and lounges.

Anonymous User wrote:Clients, even billionaires, are cost conscious when they're paying their bill out of pocket. I worked for certain clients on the T&E side who would scrutinize small bills and then pay large funds bills without reviewing them - just human nature as the funds bills were payed by the fund and not by the founder/PM.


Great point. When the money comes out of their pocket, it won't matter if they're worth many millions, some client will still scrutinize every hour billed. They still seek good value and it's completely different when it's out of their own pocket versus company dime. There's a misconception, especially on TLS that rich clients are awesome and poor clients are difficult. But it really depends on the person, rich clients can be real chill but some guy can be super cheap and demanding.

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby jagpaw » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I thought I'd add some very general thoughts about estate law planning.

One advantage is I've noticed in estate law planning is less of a strict hierarchy compared to other legal practices. I've seen estate law planning attorneys out of law schools I've never heard of or from backgrounds years ago that don't have anything to do with estate law planning, but they're charging high fees and getting clients. On the flipside, I have seen solo attorneys with biglaw tax backgrounds with NYU Tax LLMs charging less than these attorneys. It really depends on how you want to do your practice and what clients you want to go for. It's really a crapshoot in terms of who's successful and who's not, and who's getting the clients.

Also, a lot of the larger amounts of money is in trust disputes where you'll find more billable hours. I've noticed a lot of small estate law planning firms also do other things to supplement their practice (tax, small business disputes). I've seen a lot of Family Law Firms advertise probate/estate law planning services but most of their practice seems to be sustained by Family Law, and it's weird but firms I've seen do this don't tend to have very successful estate law planning practices even though I originally thought they would because it's somewhat related (family law, estate law planning, elder law are all kind of linked). Instead, it seems the wealthier clients want a different divorce attorney from their estate law planning attorney - or maybe they're just unhappy/distrusting of their family law attorney?

Also, work on wills & trusts is pretty flexible. You can totally work from home. Meet clients at restaurants and bars. I do a lot of schmoozing with wealth managers at cafes and lounges.

Anonymous User wrote:Clients, even billionaires, are cost conscious when they're paying their bill out of pocket. I worked for certain clients on the T&E side who would scrutinize small bills and then pay large funds bills without reviewing them - just human nature as the funds bills were payed by the fund and not by the founder/PM.


Great point. When the money comes out of their pocket, it won't matter if they're worth many millions, some client will still scrutinize every hour billed. They still seek good value and it's completely different when it's out of their own pocket versus company dime. There's a misconception, especially on TLS that rich clients are awesome and poor clients are difficult. But it really depends on the person, rich clients can be real chill but some guy can be super cheap and demanding.


Sounds like you like it overall?

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:21 am

jagpaw wrote:
Sounds like you like it overall?


Yeah, it's pretty chill. Though I will say the growing amount of non-attorney legal service providers and legal insurance have been driving prices of basic estate law planning services down. And the vast majority of people only need basic services.

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jagpaw wrote:
Sounds like you like it overall?


Yeah, it's pretty chill. Though I will say the growing amount of non-attorney legal service providers and legal insurance have been driving prices of basic estate law planning services down. And the vast majority of people only need basic services.


One of the former estate planners here - Yeah, I think this is an important point. I think it's important to get some other tax skills if you can when you're a young associate. If you can do 50% estate planning and 50% private foundations, or 50% income taxes, or maybe do some corporate formation work, then it'll give you options if the estate planning market contracts more that it already has. My own family used legal zoom to make their wills...

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Re: Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jagpaw wrote:
Sounds like you like it overall?


Yeah, it's pretty chill. Though I will say the growing amount of non-attorney legal service providers and legal insurance have been driving prices of basic estate law planning services down. And the vast majority of people only need basic services.


One of the former estate planners here - Yeah, I think this is an important point. I think it's important to get some other tax skills if you can when you're a young associate. If you can do 50% estate planning and 50% private foundations, or 50% income taxes, or maybe do some corporate formation work, then it'll give you options if the estate planning market contracts more that it already has. My own family used legal zoom to make their wills...


Anonymous poster you replied to.

I have a friend who prices competitively to compete against legalzoom and he does well, though he seems to have a lot of clients. I definitely agree with the advice you gave on tax skills, as that same guy also has a biglaw tax background and can do that type of work as well, but doesn't like to take on anything complex. Personally, I've been thinking of expanding my financial knowledge, maybe getting a financial securities licenses.

In my opinion, I feel legal insurance is contracting the market even more than services like legalzoom. I'm far more worried about legal insurance than I am online legal service providers. A decent amount of people, once they see legal paperwork will pay extra for someone to do it for them because they don't want to spend their free time reading about estate law and filling out paperwork - they'd rather just fork over whatever set amount they have in their head to have someone do it for them.

Legal insurance however, actually has these people pay them a small fee directly, then the legal insurance will pay the firm. A lot of legal insurance companies only pay out around $200 a will to participating law firms. You could choose to not participate in legal insurance companies, but you're really contracting your own market because more and more Fortune 500 companies are offering legal insurance options now for employees. I know a multi-millionaire at a company like this that actually used their legal insurance to get estate law planning services done. I know other millionaires that paid less than $1000 for their estate law planning services.

I remember reading on TLS, someone saying that medicine was much more profitable than law because medical insurance paid for the high fees of medical services, and there wasn't the equivalent in law (hospitals charging exorbitant amount for MRIs or X-Rays, high cost drugs being billed to insurance companies). Oddly, legal insurance exists and it's driving estate law planning service prices down, not up.

On the flipside, if OP is into taking in more interesting work, the more messed up wills and trusts done for $200 , the more disputes there will be over sloppily drafted wills. And like I said prior, that's where a lot of the high profit is. But that type of work is closer to regular legal work in terms of stress and deadlines.

Some other general thoughts for the OP

The way I explain it to my attorney friends looking to get into estate law planning is, many people are willing to pay 100%, 200%, even 300% more for a car like a Mercedes over a Toyota. Even though the Toyota will get you to your destination in the exact same way, is more efficient, and likely more reliable. They're willing to pay for brand recognition, because that's worth it to them. People, including the rich people I know, don't necessarily feel the same way about their estate law planning attorneys, and will think hard about the extra cost of your services versus your competitor. It's also hard for them to differentiate services between competitors, whereas they're willing to pay 300% more for a car mainly on mainstream brand recognition.

I know it's crude comparing legal services to car brands. But, I can't think of how to explain this to my attorney friends, because I definitely know people that will pay $100,000 for a BMW, but won't pay $1000 to get estate law planning services done.



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