This position performs a variety of paralegal support duties and delivers high-quality service to clients, exhibiting commitment to integrity and excellence. Candidates for the role must have a thorough knowledge of law firm and practice specific processes and procedures, information technology systems, research tools, and a broad-based understanding of the clients, matters, and associated practices. The scope of responsibilities includes providing probate, guardianship, and trust administration support by preparing and maintaining estate and trust administration files, drafting and/or proofing pleadings, notices, responses, correspondence, and other related documents, utilizing checklists, performing legal research, and other tasks as assigned. This is a very busy practice so time management and organization are critical. This position requires a candidate with a proven ability and experience handling all aspects of paralegal support needed to assist attorneys in estate and trust administration cases from inception to completion, including settlements and contested matters, with a sustained record of high-quality work.
We are seeking a professional with a positive work ethic who loves what they do because they know they are on the front line in providing a high level of service to our attorneys, staff, and clients. We think that means you need great people skills, patience, and the ability to multi-task and prioritize. You need to be proactive and confident in your commitment to our attorneys and clients by identifying what they need and providing it.
- Working knowledge of the rules of procedure governing probate courts as it relates to this role, including experience filing pleadings with the court in compliance with court requirements.
- Ability to prepare estate and trust accountings.
- Experience preparing gift, estate, and GST tax projections, including preparing Form 706, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Returns.
- Prepare asset lists, analyze records, and determine beneficiaries of assets within the estate and trust or passing outside of the estate and trust.
- Assist court appointed personal representatives with the administration of the estate.
- Prepare accountings, reconcile bank and brokerage accounts, and manage all financial transactions within the estate and trust.
- Experience working in a mid to large size firm and collaborating with various firm-wide departments in the handling of various responsibilities, including case opening, conflicts checks, billing, training, records, etc.
- Effective oral and written communication skills needed to draft and proofread correspondence, probate and trust related documentation, pleadings, and other legal documents.
- Interact and communicate with clients, fiduciaries, courts, and opposing counsel.
- Legal research and review of Official Records and Court Filings
- Assist the attorney in managing all trust funding to ensure the funding is completed in accordance with the terms of the trust and firm policy (such as recording Deeds, verifying Financial Accounts and Retirement Accounts are titled to avoid probate, etc.).
- Tracking and billing time to client files.
- Managing electronic and paper case files.
- The above description is intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees in this position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of employees assigned to this job. Individuals may perform other duties as assigned, including work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, to equalize peak work periods, or to otherwise balance the workload.
JOB REQUIREMENTS AND QUALIFICATIONS
Education and Experience
- Must have bachelor’s degree or comparable experience.
- Must have a minimum of five years of law firm administrative experience, preferably as a probate and trust paralegal.
- Experience working with multiple attorneys required.
- Florida trust and estates experience required.
- Florida Registered Paralegal (FRP) preferred.
- Fiduciary accounting knowledge a plus.
- Ability to work efficiently and effectively under pressure and time constraints.
- Ability to effectively balance assignments and workflow from multiple attorneys.
- Ability to multitask and handle multiple responsibilities and high volume is crucial.
- Strong attention to detail, initiative, and follow-through required.
- Effective oral and written communication skills, including the ability to clearly express thoughts to others and exchange information.
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, other departments, vendors, and the public.
- Significant client facing experience.
- Familiarity with financial documents and tax returns.
- Knowledge of Florida Probate Court procedures, processes, and filing requirements.
- Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, including extensive knowledge of Outlook, Word, Excel and experience working with law firm case management and billing software required. Knowledge of FileSite, CMS, SmartTime, and Aderant a plus.
- EstateWorks, Collyers Probate, Collyers Guardianship, HotDocs, and Wealth Counsel software experience helpful.
- Work in collaboration within a group and individually to ensure that clients are satisfied, includes the desire to understand client concerns and build trust.
- Thrives in a structured work environment (i.e. checklists, meetings, tracking board).
- Usual work hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with a one-hour lunch. Overtime work may be required from time to time.
- Great benefits package, including paid holidays, vacation, and sick time, 401(k), health benefits, and more.
- A criminal background check is required and must be successfully completed prior to employment.
- Technology training for firm utilized software is provided during onboarding.