Estate Planning Stands at a Critical Juncture

Why Estate Planning Attorneys are More Valuable Than Ever

Words by Britt Shearin, Lawyers with Purpose Legal-Technical Attorney

Few areas of law carry universal relevance and enduring importance as estate planning. Unlike specialized fields that may cater to select circumstances or unfortunate events, estate planning exists as a necessity, touching the lives of virtually every individual. In a world where asset ownership, mortality, and taxation are inevitable, Estate Planning Attorneys are now more valuable than ever.


Beginning in July 2026, the National Conference of Bar Examiners is expected to debut its new “NextGen Bar Exam” for graduating law students. The new, and supposedly improved, bar exam will be three hours shorter than the current Uniform Bar Exam, and it will focus on more practical skills a newly licensed attorney needs in their first few years of employment.

So, what does the NextGen Bar Exam have to do with estate planning attorneys?

By decreasing the amount covered on the exam, the NCBE decided to cut a couple areas of law that were less likely to be encountered by newly admitted attorneys: Conflict of Laws, Secured Transactions, and you guessed it, Trusts and Estates.

By eliminating the Trusts and Estates portion from bar exam, naturally there will be a tendency for fewer law students to enroll in trust and estates courses during their limited time in law school, and instead focus on learning the other areas of law covered on the bar exam. This will inevitably lead to fewer new attorneys entering the realm of estate planning.

Current estate planning attorneys are nearing retirement

Current estate planning attorneys are nearing retirement age and are looking to transition out of their law firms. They may not have enough new attorneys with whom to share their knowledge and skills, and ultimately replace themselves in the industry, resulting in diminished supply of estate planning services. Decreased supply, coupled with the projected increase in demand for estate planning services discussed further below, makes it an ideal time to go into the field.

…and Demand.

Despite Millennials and Gen Z both realizing the need for estate planning and acting on it sooner than previous generations, still more than half of them do not have an estate plan. Concurrently, the aging Baby Boomer population (age 60 through 78 as of 2024), is now hitting retirement and will soon confront their own mortality. This will result in an unprecedented transfer of wealth.

Financial Services research and analytics firm, Cerulli Associates, projects $84.4 trillion dollars will be transferred from the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers to their heirs and other beneficiaries. As transferors and recipients each begin to handle the complexities of wealth distribution, the need for astute estate planning guidance becomes paramount.

Complexities and Nuance in Estate Planning

Estate planning is ever-changing, thanks to new and transformative legislation. There have been changes to planning for retirement accounts with the passage of the SECURE Act, and new business reporting requirements with the Corporate Transparency Act. Medicaid laws are constantly evolving, and more people are relying on it for financial coverage as they age. Additionally, the upcoming sunset of the estate tax exemption to its prior Tax Cuts and Jobs Act threshold forebodes an uptick in the number of taxable estates requiring adept handling by legal professionals.

Further, the industry is helping more and more blended families and same-sex couples; handling the rise of digital assets and cryptocurrencies; providing for ongoing care of pets and animals; and navigating the ever-evolving labyrinth of tax legislation. In an era defined by rapid technological advancement and shifting family structures, the importance of a thorough estate plan cannot be overstated.

Estate Planning Stands at a Critical Juncture

In sum, as the legal field adapts to evolving demands, estate planning stands at a critical juncture. There is a potential lack of new attorneys entering this essential practice area, even as the demand for estate planning services continues to grow.

With significant generational wealth transfers on the horizon and increasingly complex legal and financial landscapes, the need for skilled estate planners is more pressing than ever.

Addressing this gap requires a proactive approach to ensure that future attorneys are well-prepared to meet the enduring and universal need for effective estate planning. The convergence of changing legislation, demographic shifts, and technological advancements underscores the importance of this field, making it an opportune time for attorneys to transition to and specialize in estate planning and secure their place in a vital and dynamic area of law.

Transitioning Attorneys into Estate Planning: Join Lawyers With Purpose

Thinking of transitioning to estate planning, or have you recently done so? Lawyers With Purpose is a practice management community, who can help you bring your practice purpose and profit. Lawyers with Purpose offers everything you need to achieve success as you define it. We’ll work with you to explore what it is you truly want from the practice of law. Then, together, we will design a roadmap detailing the precise steps you need to take to reach your identified goals.

Providing all the tools you need for a successful practice:

  • Cloud-based Software
  • Cloud-based Operations Workflow
  • Legal Knowledge
  • Marketing
  • Performance, Coaching and Mentoring
  • Live and Virtual Training
  • Like-minded Community
  • And so much more

Contact us today for a strategy call to learn about the LWP Difference.

Lawyers with Purpose is a leading membership organization committed to supporting estate planning attorneys in running successful and innovative law practices. For more information about Lawyers with Purpose membership, contact our Head of Professional Development, Briana Moriarty at