In today’s financially complex world, managing assets and keeping track of all the legal paperwork can turn out to be an intimidating task. Considering how often the state and federal laws change when it comes to income taxes or investments, legal complications can get to your feet during transactions.To avoid mishandling and financial issues, many residents of California hire legal document assistants to guide them through the process of documentation and filing, especially those who are representing themselves in lawful matters.
Who Are Legal Document Assistants (LDA)?
A legal document assistant is a non-solicitor professional whose job is to prepare legal documents for people who are representing themselves in legal situations. Previously legal assistants were thought of as independent paralegals. However, since the California law declared in 2001, both of these terms have a separate definition. A paralegal, unlike a legal assistant, refers to professionals who can work directly under the supervision of an attorney. When it comes to legal document assistance, there is no attorney involved, and these professionals are not authorized to provide legal guidance or advocate for people in the court.
What Can a Legal Document Assistant Do?
Essentially the job of a legal assistant is to work on legal documents for the clients legislatively. They may provide some general legal information, publish and serve the legal documents as directed by the client.Considering how complicated and perplexing self-help legal guides can be, a legal assistant can provide the required assistance when dealing with the paperwork for legal matters. As there is no direct involvement of the law, legal assistants are at complete disposal of their clients. Whether it is filling out the paperwork for divorce or providing trust and fiduciary services, the client is in charge of making their own legal decisions.
It is important to note the following:
- A legal document assistant is only authorized to carry out your paperwork and prepare documents for legal matters
- It is not comparable to having a lawyer or attorney who can represent you in court
- Legal assistants can do, however, provide their clients with useful legal information and referrals if required
Advantages of Working with a Legal Assistant
Highly Skilled Professionals
In terms of qualification and expertise, a legal assistant is just as proficient as a paralegal and undergoes the same educational pathway to get there. Because of extensive training, these professionals have gathered plenty of experience to deal with pretty much any sort of legal paperwork, which majorly takes the stress off their clients who may not be in the position to handle their legal documentation on their own.
Hiring a legal assistant is a way more economical approach as compared to hiring an attorney to manage the routine paperwork for a legal matter. Also, as usually the lawyers are swamped most of the time, the quality of your paperwork might get compromised. That is not an issue with legal document assistance as these professionals are trained to provide top quality document work for each of their clients.
Legal document assistants do carry all the essential knowledge when it comes to legal procedures. Even though they are not in the position to give out legal advice or act as your legal representative, they can make useful referrals for their clients if required.
Trust and Fiduciary Services
For people with an extensively growing wealth and financial situations, it can become complex to manage the assets single-handedly. A well-articulated legacy plan can assist with the trust management and the future disposition of possessions to assigned beneficiaries.
The initial step in drafting a trust is to name a trustee who can manage your assets. Technically, this could be a friend, a family member, a lawyer, or an organization like a bank. Placing your trust in safe hands is highly crucial.
Following are some of the essential roles that a trustee has to play:
- Management of the trust as directed by the authorized documents
- Obedience of the relevant laws and legal guidelines, including tax-related transactions
- Obligatory and discretionary payouts to the beneficiaries by following per under the documents
- Appropriate record keeping of all the procedures involving trust handling
It is certainly not easy to handle all these responsibilities for an individual. You often find yourself up against various legal issues and discrepancies, which can be extremely exhausting to manage. Also, with the frequently changing laws, a trustee might have to make relevant adjustments to the originally devised trust plan by the proprietor.
To deal with these issues, several people now use the trust management services provided by various organizations. Such companies provide fiduciary advisors and professional trustees who are experienced and skilled to manage your administrative duties.
Dutiesof a Corporate Trustee
- They are directly responsible for determining and tracking the appropriate assessment of the trust resources
- Drafting an elaborate investment plan, taking into account the present and future requirements of the beneficiaries
- Carrying a thorough analysis and review of the investment strategy routinely to detect any discrepancies and also to make relevant adjustments if required
- Making sure that the deposition of funds is being managed in absolute accordance with the trust commands
- Managing all the tax-related paperwork on a routine basis
Apart from the more concrete responsibilities that a corporate legal trustee carries out, there are also some intangible benefits provided alongside. For instance, a corporate trustee is authorized to be in a position where they can objectively exercise their tasks according to the commands provided by the benefactor. It is a huge advantage as compared to a family member, who may consciously or unconsciously get triggered by sentiments, and make subjective deviations from the original plan. With a corporate trustee provided by a valued organization, the benefactor does not have to worry about such discrepancies and difficult situations.
In today’s particularly challenging financial state, the guidance and assistance provided by these trained and skilled professionals are greatly appreciated now. People do not have the time to invest in indeterminate undertakings and risky plans. Thus, a long-term association with a trustworthy fiduciary service and expert professionals can do wonders to ease the exhaustion of financial management.
Sarah Gibson has been working in the legal field since the past twenty years. She is a certified paralegal and has gathered an extensive experience in legal assistance, and trust and fiduciary services. For the past five years, she has been producing valuable self-help publications in the legal field.