The essentials of estate planning will always be hot. These include designating heirs, setting up trusts or stating who can legally handle your financial affairs if you become mentally incapacitated. Rabalais Estate Planning, LLC, looks at the newest trends in estate planning probate.
The biggest trend is estate planning from home.
It uses video conferencing or even just the telephone to communicate with an estate planning lawyer. The only thing a client needs to do in person is sign the legal papers. Since the advent of COVID-19, this is done entirely inside of the client’s car, so that the client does not need to risk entering an office. Before 2020, most clients insisted on face-to-face consultations with their estate lawyers.
Another trend is the use of artificial intelligence to get legal documents prepared and reviewed. Some states have passed laws allowing some legal documents to be notarized online instead of in person. This is part of an overall trend to use technology more in the estate planning industry to make it easier for everyone on both sides of a lawyer’s desk.
Clients are also more concerned about estate tax. It’s set to drop in half on January 1, 2026. Clients want to make preparations now so that their heirs avoid the current 40% estate tax.