Broker Check

Paralegal Services

To learn more, click What is a paralegal?

ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES

Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directives

A full range of attorney-supervised document preparation services are available. The right documents can be an important and effective means to avoid unnecessary probate fees, save taxes (in large estates) and preserve assets from being unnecessarily spent on nursing homes. Planned giving and other tax strategies are implemented for high net worth individuals, closely held business owners and professionals.

ESTATE SETTLEMENT SERVICES

Probate and Trust Estates

Attorney-supervised assistance is available for various transactions:

  • Marshalling and scheduling of assets
  • Handling debts and expenses
  • Trust accounting
  • Transferring small estates and non-probate assets
  • Transferring or clearing title to real property
  • Transferring securities

A supervising attorney is engaged for probate representation.

What is a Paralegal?

A paralegal is a person qualified through education and training to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts and is customarily, but not exclusively, performed by an attorney. This person may be retained or employed by a lawyer, law office or governmental agency or may be authorized by an administration agency to perform such work.

What are some of the benefits to an attorney utilizing a paralegal?

There are numerous benefits to paralegal utilization. Typically firms will bill a paralegal’s time at a lower hourly rate than the time of the attorney. Paralegals, with their specialized training, can do initial drafting of legal documents and correspondence to be reviewed by the attorney prior to signature. The client will reap the benefit of a lower bill.

Can a paralegal give legal advice?

Paralegals are not permitted to give legal advice. It is a violation of the law for anyone other than a licensed attorney to give legal advice. Paralegals may not represent a client in court. Further, paralegals (not working for government agencies or corporations) must contract with or be employed by an active member of the State Bar of California. They may not provide legal services directly to consumers.

What tasks can a paralegal perform?

According to the Business and Professions Code, tasks performed by a paralegal include but are not limited to:

  • Case planning, development, and management
  • Legal research
  • Interviewing clients, fact gathering, retrieving information
  • Drafting and analyzing legal documents
  • Collecting, compiling and utilizing technical information to make an independent decision and recommendation to the supervising attorney
  • Representing clients before a state or federal administrative agency if that representation  is permitted by administrative regulation

Does a paralegal have education requirements?

In addition to a one-year ABA approved paralegal program, the paralegal has mandatory continuing legal education in ethics as well as in the paralegal’s specialized area of practice. Certification of continuing education is made by the paralegal’s supervising attorney.