An estate, in common law, is the total value of everything owned by an individual. The definition includes both tangible and intangible items, such as personal property, land (real property), or intellectual property. An estate may be divided into two parts: a probate estate and a non-probate estate. Estates subject to probate must be adjudicated through the court system. Non-probate estates do not. Estate in land is divided into estates of inheritance and non-inheritance. The two classifications of inheritable estates—fee simple and fee tail, denote the level of legal restrictions applied to the estate. An estate planning attorney exists to create detailed estate plans, which can include trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, and all associated documents. If a legal dispute arises, an estate planning attorney can represent the plaintiff in court.
The practice of estate planning law is desirable as estate planning attorneys generally work with proactive, responsible clients. Estate planning attorneys generally become the “family attorney,” which translates to work for decades. Before starting an estate planning law practice, lawyers must study financial planning, which includes personal finance and investing. Services should be marketed to potential clients, in this case, high-net-worth individuals. Office location planning should also take these economic factors into consideration. Deciding on a solo practice or a partnership is another consideration. Partnering with other attorneys could be advantageous as costs could be split and casework divided along skill-based lines, such as litigation and financial planning. A trust account or IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Account), account should be opened so the firm can accept client funds for retainers and subsequent invoices for client estate law payments. These practices are typically run by on premise or software-as-a-service (SaaS) to handle attorney hours, scheduling, accounting and billing.
Payment Integrator can take care of your estate planning law billing needs so you can concentrate on delivering effective client service to the families you represent. Estate law firms can apply our industry-leading estate law payment processing solutions to existing electronic billing systems and IOLTA accounts. Our hosted payment page (HPP) solution is perfect for invoicing clients with active payment links. With our frictionless integration, client payments can be made automatically with credit cards or through E-Check and ACH technologies and post to client statements. Pursuant to state jurisdiction, Payment Integrator will accept all major credit cards, debit cards, and enable the use of e-wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. All of our estate planning law payment acceptance methods are secure, P2PE, tokenized, and PCI-compliant.
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