The Role Played by Paralegals in Document Preparation and Estate Planning
Document preparation is something that can easily and affordably be done by a paralegal; rather than hiring an attorney who more often than not may not have the time and will end up delegating to a paralegal. There is so much that goes with estate planning, and only a qualified and competent paralegal will offer the necessary advice and guidance to make the right choices. Estate planning, and in particular living trusts, is one of those documents that are effectively handled by a professional legal document preparer. Through a living trust, you are able to define within the constraints of law how you wish to see your assets dispersed. A living trusts gives another person or a firm the right to administrate your property the moment you sign proper documentation for the same. As your paralegal officer will advise you, trustees can be anyone from your attorney, to a family member to an establishment such as a law firm.
What this means is that in the event of probate, only the items listed under your legal names will be subject to probate. The first role therefore that a paralegal officer plays is to advice on ensuring the living trust is well funded, which means ensuring all assets are transferred to the rightful trustee. If the right channels are not followed during document preparation, it means the assets ought to be surrendered to the state to decide on how to distribute the assets. Needless to mention, you can never compromise on the role that a competent and qualified paralegal plays when it comes to document preparation. If not for anything else, a good paralegal officer should take the time to explain in clear terms the legal implications of not doing right documentation.
As is with most cases that deal with money today, it is imperative to ensure you deal with professionals who are certified to offer document preparation services. Most states only allow paralegals and lawyers to sell living trusts, so be wary of unscrupulous individuals who are out to make a kill and not offer professional advice and guidance. You can rest assured that living trusts can be a savior when it comes to asset administration and distribution, but only when you get it right from the word go. It is thus imperative to do a thorough homework to hire the right paralegal to guide in the right document preparation and to help ensure the assets are correctly transferred. Preparing a living trust is part and parcel of estate planning, which most people do not like to think about or to participate in. The first step thus comes in ensuring document preparation is done correctly by a professional.