Recommended Will and Trust Forms for Lawyers

My books Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits and The QPRT Manual contain sample clauses and forms to carry out some of the recommendations in the text. Sometimes I’m asked, why do I supply only selected clauses and not an entire trust instrument? Here’s the answer: Trust forms vary widely from state to state and depending on the goals and purpose of the trust. It would require another whole book to supply complete trust forms… a book I am not planning to write. So the forms Appendices in my books assume you already have complete trust and will forms, and are looking for drafting samples of clauses related to the special problems of retirement benefits or QPRTs.

If you are a new estate planner, or if you are the only estate planner in your firm, or if you are a general practitioner who needs to keep up with estate planning techniques as well as other areas of the law, or if for any other reason you would appreciate having a good set of estate planning document forms that have been thought through (and are kept up to date) by experts, I recommend the following two sources, both of which offer complete sophisticated tax forms for the practicing attorney. They are not cheap, as you can imagine, but the expertise that has gone into these systems is, as they say, “priceless.” I have confidence in both of these vendors:

“WealthDocs,” from WealthCounsel, LLC

“A complete document creation system for Wills, Revocable Living Trusts, ILITs, CRTs, FLPs, and Special Needs Trusts. Ancillary and supporting documents to help you manage every aspect of your practice, from invoices and agreement letters to funding documents, plus much more.” They have a strong educational program as well.

“Wealth Transfer Planning,” from Interactive Legal Systems

Written and maintained by two leading national estate planners, Jonathan Blattmachr and Michael L. Graham. “The system includes Wills, Revocable Trusts, GRATs, QPRTs, Irrevocable Insurance Trusts, a 2503(c)a Minor’s Trust and more. Also included are strategic planning memoranda, client letters, executive summaries, and other agreements and materials. Extensive content help is available every step of the way, providing explanations for each question and guidance to the drafter.”