What Is the Lawyer’s Role in Estate Planning?



The attorney’s role in the estate planning process is to teach you the questions that you didn’t even know you needed to ask. Along those lines, the attorney should guide you through the design process. Ultimately, they’ll draft your documents, and then they’ll explain those documents and help you through the signing ceremony.



Estate planning attorneys are helpful during the estate planning process and after the death of a loved one through the estate administration process.  Estate administration may be simple or complex depending on the nature of your assets and the type of planning you’ve done.  Your attorney should understand the state and federal laws that will impact your estate. Estate planning allows you to control your property while you are alive and well, plan for yourself and your loved ones in the event of your disability, and then give what you have to whom you want, when you want, the way you want.  

At The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, we help co-create estate plans that embrace your vision, so you can protect your family, including your pets, and provide for those you love. Estate planning includes understanding the relationship between how you own your assets, beneficiary designations, and the legal documents that support your plan. It also includes the proper selection and appointment of “helpers” including personal representatives, trustees, agents, guardians for minors, and caregivers for pets. 

Some of the primary benefits of working with an estate planning attorney include:

  • Creating an individualized plan based on your specific needs and offering you the most valuable legal advice for your situation
  • Working with an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about current estate planning laws in your state, ensuring that the decisions you make will be made in accordance with the law and are legally enforceable
  • Access to a specialist who can serve as a resource for questions, concerns, changes, and updates to your will and trust

If you’re not quite sure where to start, we have a smooth process to help inform and guide you. Join us virtually for an interactive workshop designed to educate families about general estate planning principles, the federal estate and gift tax structures, and the importance of implementing and maintaining a relevant estate plan. We highly recommend you attend an educational workshop before meeting with us, but this is, of course, optional. 

If you would like to meet with us personally, we will be happy to schedule a Discovery and Decision Dialogue with one of our four (4) qualified attorneys who can answer your questions. The Discovery and Decision Dialogue is approximately 90-minutes in length and we will ask you to teach us about you and your family, then we’ll teach you about the law and how it affects your family, and together we will explore the options (Wills or Trusts) to protect your family and meet your estate planning goals.

The next step is our Counselling and Education phase, where we will work together in a Design Meeting to co-create your customized estate plan. At this meeting, we will teach you the questions you didn’t even know you needed to ask in making the important decisions to create a Will or Trust-based estate plan.  We will discuss what life looks like if you become disabled as well as what life looks like if you die.  We will explore all the different ways to leave assets for the benefit of loved family members including spousal trusts, lifetime protective trusts for minors and adult children, special needs trusts and trusts for your pet.  

The Signing Ceremony is next. At this meeting, we will review and explain all of the legal directives that comprise your customized estate plan. You’ll sign your estate plan at this meeting, making all of your wishes effective at this time. You will then take your completed estate plan home so you can review each instrument in the privacy of your own home. Any questions or changes can be addressed at any time.

Some clients will elect to participate in our Estate Security Plan (ESP for short) where we will assist you with reviewing all of your asset ownership and beneficiary designations. We will help you complete the forms and coordinate with your trusted financial professionals to make sure your plan and your assets are fully integrated. Ready to get started?  Click here to contact us today or give us a call at 407-977-8080.


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