Estate and Succession Planning Paralegal



GENERAL PURPOSE:  Provide support and assistance to the attorneys during all phases of probate, trust administration, estate and gift tax planning, and other estate planning matters.  


Estate Planning Matters

  • Generate estate planning documents for clients using HotDocs software, including Will, Trusts and Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Generate gift tax planning documents for clients, including irrevocable trusts and related documentation


  • Draft fiduciary income tax returns for trusts; inform trusts’ beneficiaries of the tax liability of their distributions via IRS Schedules K-1
  • Draft gift tax returns
  • Prepare and maintain a calendar system for tax deadlines
  • Evaluate assets (as of date of death and alternate valuation date); verify bank balances and prepare inventory
  • Prepare accountings for estates and trusts
  • Draft final settlement and order for final distribution
  • Coordinate the transfer of assets into trusts, including bank accounts, stock transfers and real estate deeds
  • Make income payments to trust beneficiaries
  • Draft petitions and proposed orders as necessary
  • Maintain financial records of trusts
  • Correspond and communicate with trusts’ grantors and beneficiaries
  • Draft inventories, accounts, and petitions for those trusts requiring adjudication
  • Draft pleadings registering or terminating trusts and appointing or substituting trustees


  • Draft petitions to commence proceedings, personal well-being reports, notices of right to appeal annual and final accounts, restorations to capacity, and closing documents
  • Prepare accountings for guardianship and/or conservatorship
  • Conduct preliminary valuation of assets held by the ward/conservatee

Estate Administration

  • Prepare and maintain a calendar system, noting important estate administration deadlines and court appearances
  • Obtain the will and draft necessary documents to file will with probate court
  • Draft documents to commence a probate proceeding; file the same with the probate court and act as liaison with court personnel while identifying interested parties by determining heirs, devisees, contingent beneficiaries and creditors
  • Evaluate assets (as of date of death and alternate valuation date); verify bank balances and prepare inventory
  • Coordinate with out-of-state attorneys to commence ancillary proceedings to, for example, transfer title of vacation real estate property, ascertain necessary creditor and debtor information, and determine status of life and health insurance benefits
  • Arrange for notice to creditors to be published in a local newspaper
  • Review creditor’s claims; present to estate representative for approval; transmit claims to the court
  • File life insurance claims and other death benefit claims
  • Obtain and review income tax returns and other financial records
  • Maintain estate bank accounts and investments
  • Make a preliminary analysis of assets held by the decedent for investment purposes, potential sale, liquidity needs, and beneficiaries’ needs
  • Draft individual, estate, fiduciary income, and gift tax returns
  • Collect documentation for audits of tax returns


  • Good organizational and project management skills
  • Proficient in the use of on-line legal research services and legal resources
  • Excellent communication skills (both oral and written)
  • Must have sound judgment
  • Must be able to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Intermediate to advanced experience using Microsoft Excel  and HotDocs
  • Experience with tax software programs


  • Bachelor’s Degree and Paralegal Certification from an ABA approved program is required

To submit your resume or for information regarding current career opportunities, please contact

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