The Estate Planning Practicum aims to provide students with the unique opportunity of enriching and furthering their legal awareness and experience beyond the classroom environment. Participants will gain valuable, practical experience by assisting people from the local community with some of their more basic estate planning needs, thereby applying their theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.
The students will be put to practice while they work towards creating an atmosphere of trust and comfort for their clients and learning the essentials of establishing solid attorney-client relationships. Specifically, students will be working in pairs under the supervision of faculty to prepare an actual estate plan for the client which includes a last will and testament, a living will, a health care proxy and a power of attorney. Students will take part in the entire estate planning process from the initial informational intake meeting to the preparation of the client’s estate planning documents, to discussing the drafts with the clients along with addressing their comments and changes, and to preparing and assisting with the execution of the client’s estate planning documents. In addition, students in small groups will research, design, and present an estate planning seminar to the Ithaca community.
The seminar will provide students with valuable experience in public speaking as well as practical experience in marketing and organizing a professional program. Lectures will be provided on the fundamentals of estate planning from establishing a healthy attorney-client relationship, drafting considerations for the client’s last will and testament, basic related estate and income tax issues, ethical issues, and the administration of the client’s estate upon death.