Skip to Content
Grandparents with grandchildren symbolizing how planning your wills and estate can benefit the next generation.
Wills and estate planning

Tasks an estate planning attorney can help with

Estate planning attorneys are helpful during the estate planning process and afterwards through the process of probate court. They understand the state and federal laws that will impact your estate.

When it comes to estate planning, there is a lot to think about. While there are many different considerations involved, at the highest level, you can define estate planning as the process of making a plan for distributing your assets when you die.

Tasks an estate planning attorney can help with

Estate planning attorneys, also referred to as estate law attorneys or probate attorneys, are experienced and licensed law professionals with a thorough understanding of the state and federal laws that affect how your estate will be inventoried, valued, dispersed, and taxed after your death. In addition to educating you about the probate process, an estate planning attorney can assist you with the following tasks:

  • Creating a will
  • Designating your beneficiaries
  • Establishing durable power of attorney and medical durable power of attorney
  • Working with a financial professional to find ways to reduce and avoid estate tax when possible
  • Finding ways to avoid the probate court process
  • Setting up any trusts you might need to protect your assets, both for your own benefit during your lifetime in the event of incapacity, and for the benefit of your beneficiaries after your death

Do I need an estate planning attorney?

While there is some time and expense associated with estate planning, the process helps ensure that your assets are handled per your wishes after you are gone. While everyone’s situation is different, 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

An estate planning attorney can also be called upon to guide anyone with power of attorney over a recently deceased person's estate through the process of probate court. In fact, a good estate planning attorney may be able to help you avoid probate court altogether, but that largely depends on the type of assets in the deceased's estate and how they are legally allowed to be transferred.

In the event that a beneficiary (or even an individual not designated as a beneficiary) announces that he or she plans to contest the will and sue the estate of a deceased family member or loved one that you also stand to benefit from, it might be in your best interest to consult an estate planning attorney immediately. Such lawsuits can quickly drain the estate's funds and leave all beneficiaries a little worse for the wear.

How much is an estate planning attorney?

Estate planning attorneys often charge a flat fee to help you craft binding legal documents such as wills and durable power of attorney, but they can also be employed on an hourly basis to help you maintain your estate, act on your behalf to handle disputes when called upon, and ensure that your will is carried out according to plan when required.

You may be able to have a simple will written by a qualified estate planning attorney for as little as $150 or $200. However, typical attorney feels often range from $250 - $350/hour, according to NOLO.1  The more complicated your estate, the more it will cost to set up.

If you'd like more information on wills and estate planning, visit the Protective Learning Center. 



Arrows linking indicating relationship

Related Articles

Senior husband and wife smile while walking down a street abroad

Donating to charity in your last will and testament

Learn more
Husband and wife smile at each other while they walk together along the beach

What is a living trust and its types?

Learn more
Worried senior woman sitting on couch.

Social Security widows benefits

Learn more
All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective and its products and services, visit

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective or its subsidiaries.