This is the fifth in a series of blogs on How to Practice in Estate Planning. I’ll sprinkle this series in among my typical timely blogs. This series is designed for attorneys who are currently practicing in another field and wish to transition to Estate Planning and Elder Law. However, many of the suggestions in this series will be equally applicable to a new attorney who is not transitioning from another area.
Step One was learning how to approach the practice of law as a business. Step Two was learning the basic substantive knowledge you need to practice in the estate planning area. Step Three is having forms upon which you can rely and a person or people whom you can consult for counsel. Step Four is avoiding analysis paralysis and actually applying what you’ve learned. Step Five is joining local Estate Planning and Elder Law chapters and attending those events.
You will want to join the following groups:
- Your state bar trusts and estates section
The state bar section is a great resource. It keeps you up-to-date on developments in state law, which is key. It also can be a great source for referrals from attorneys in other parts of the state.
- Your local bar trusts and estates section
Through your local bar, you can develop a knowledge of the local scene, including the reputation of judges and can develop your own reputation in the local community.
- Your local Estate Planning Council
The Estate Planning Council is an interdisciplinary group which can be a great source of networking with insurance and financial planners. It can also help enhance your local reputation.
- Your local chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (“NAELA”)
If you intend to practice in the Elder Law area, this organization is a must. By being a member of your local chapter, you can stay abreast of how your local Medicaid-administering agency interprets various strategies and approaches. This is particularly important since interpretation varies a great deal from state to state.
In the next blog in the series I’ll discuss the subscriptions and blogs you will want to follow.
Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M.
Associate Director of Education
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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