An estate planning director’s main responsibility is to plan for the distribution of assets at the time of their client’s death. The duties and responsibilities of an estate planning director are required both before and after the client’s death to assure proper management of the client and the assets of the client’s family.
An estate planning director is usually required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance. Depending on the level of responsibility, the size of the estate, and the legal necessities involved, a person may be required to have a master’s in business administration or be a certified public accountant.
Depending on the level of the position in the organization, estate planning directors are expected to have between two and ten years experience in the field itself or a closely related field like real estate or insurance.
An estate planning director may supervise several people depending on the extent of their responsibilities. The development of supervisory skills that include distribution of work, reviews, employee counseling, hiring, and termination may be a part of a person’s training as they assume more responsibilities with an organization or they may be required to receive additional training in supervision. Expert supervisory skills are a necessity to provide first rate service to clients and ensure the smooth operation of the part of the organization a person is responsible for.
An estate planning director must possess a superior and broad knowledge of real estate law in their own state and in other states where their clients may own properties. A firm grasp of inheritance laws and tax laws involving inheritance is a must for success as an estate planning director.
An estate planning director is expected to be computer literate with major spreadsheet, word processing, and data analysis programs at the time of hire. Familiarity with stock trading and distribution is an asset for the position. Some training may be needed to acquaint a new hire with company specific or in-house developed computer programs. Facility with smart phones and apps is also highly desirable assets.
Development and distribution of legal documents, correspondence, planning, dispute resolution, and court appearances are a frequent part of an estate planning director’s duties. Counseling clients before their death include preparation of wills, living wills, power of attorney, and investment strategies.
An estate planning director must be tactful and respectful of the family’s feeling during a time of bereavement but must also be aware of the legal time limits that are necessary to fulfill the deceased last wishes.
An estate planning director is a highly visible position that requires specific knowledge, experience, and education in law, real estate, and insurance, as well as highly developed personal skills to deal with clients and employees effectively.