The term estate planning is used to describe the process of developing a plan for the disbursement of an individual's state upon death. People employed in estate planning jobs normally have a background in law or the field of finance. Many of these individuals have college degrees and professional credentials and licenses while others employed in estate planning jobs are people who handle administrative duties and who have no industry specific academic or professional credentials.
Probate rules are often complex; the families and creditors of intestate individuals and those with incomplete wills often end up getting involved in complex court battles related to the disbursement of an estate. Consequently, laws firms employ large numbers of licensed attorneys in estate planning jobs. Rules related to probate often vary between regions in which case a particular attorney may only be able to assist clients whose assets are located within a specific region. Licensed attorneys are often assisted by legal aides who have typically studied some college level law classes but who either did not go to law school or failed to obtain a license to practice in the profession. While many attorneys and legal aides are employed by large firms, others are self-employed individuals who may also assist clients with other matters beyond just estate planning.
Financial professionals including bankers and investment brokers are often employed in estate planning jobs. These individuals often work for major commercial banks or brokerage firms and help wealthy individuals to invest their cash assets in securities that can easily be passed onto their heirs. Additionally, some finance firms employ certified accountants and tax advisers in estate planning jobs and these individuals help their clients to arrange their assets in a tax-efficient manner. In some nations, people can pass insurance contracts to beneficiaries without being subject to probate or income taxes and some of the people involved in estate planning are licensed insurance agents. Employees of major banks are sometimes licensed to sell insurance, provide tax advice and sell securities in which case clients can do most of their estate planning with the help of a single professional.
Charities often rely heavily on donations from wealthy benefactors; many non-profit groups employ administrators who are tasked with contacting prospective donors and making arrangements for cash settlements to be transferred to the organization. These individuals must have good interpersonal and administrative skills but employers do not typically require these people to have completed college courses or to have completed any industry related certification courses. Many universities and schools also employ people in similar roles.