Trusts & Estates Paralegal

Chicago, IL


The Private Wealth Paralegal is responsible for providing paralegal support and assistance to attorneys in the management, coordination, and administration of all aspects of trusts and estates in probate within established administrative procedures.  This position requires heavy client contact.  Maintains professionalism and strict confidentiality in all client and firm matters. Our client offers a hybrid work model, with 2-3 days in office per week.


  • Oversee all aspects of trusts and estates in probate.
  • Prepare and file probate documents in order to open and/or close estates, as well as prepare all requisite documents relative to trusts and estates in probate.
  • Collect and distribute estate/decedent’s assets by contacting banks, brokerage houses, and appraisers.  Prepare receipts and releases.  Open, establish, and maintain estate checking accounts.
  • Compile all information required to prepare annual tax returns.   Prepare and file Illinois state and federal estate tax returns including the court inventory.  Review completed tax returns, prepare checks, obtain necessary signatures, and forward to the IRS.  Forward executed tax returns to accountants; maintain archival files.
  • Coordinate asset transfers and funding of trusts.  If necessary, communicate with necessary parties relative to appropriate funding.
  • Maintain and report beneficial ownership information in compliance with the Corporate Transparency Act and firm policy, including identifying and verifying beneficial ownership details, as well as ensuring accurate client and firm records are consistently current.
  • Prepare for federal audit.
  • Research and investigate any requests, problems or issues, and resolve with appropriate parties.
  • Prepare initial drafts of client correspondence and memos.
  • Responsible for client contact and communication to clients.
  • Perform file organization and maintenance.
  • Maintain up-to-date time reports to ensure accurate client billing.
  • Billable hour requirement: 1,700 hours annually (142 client billable hours average per month).
  • On a case-by-case basis, may supervise the work performed by Project Assistant and/or Paralegal staff.  Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the firm’s policies and applicable laws.  Responsibilities include interviewing, training, and providing input into the performance appraisal process.


  • Bachelor’s degree and five (5) or more years progressive trust administration experience managing all aspects of trust accounts are required, preferably in a law firm environment; or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Legal research knowledge and ability to use law library are required.  Paralegal certificate from an ABA-accredited paralegal program a plus.
  • Computer proficient with experience and working knowledge of Westlaw and other trust-related databases, Internet research, due diligence, Excel, Access, Outlook, and MS Word preferred.  Applicable knowledge of legal and investment terminology with a strong trust administration background and proficiency in West’s Federal Estate Tax program and fiduciary income tax forms and extensions.  Ability to prepare federal and state estate tax returns, as well as familiarity with estate and gift tax return software programs, highly desirable.
  • Exhibit high degree of initiative with excellent analytical, technical, and critical-thinking skills requiring an aptitude for detail, precision, and logic in order to analyze and research probate trust/estate data, process information, conduct legal research, and perform essential duties.
  • Excellent organizational skills including record keeping, data collection, and system information.  Ability to compile and analyze complex data and furnish concise, detailed information in report format, written correspondence, e‑mail, or verbally.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills.  Ability to communicate with courtesy and diplomacy, efficiently follow written and verbal instructions, provide information and training, and maintain effective relationships with a diverse group of attorneys, clients, staff, and outside contacts.
  • Dependable team player who works collaboratively and cooperatively with others in a team-oriented environment.  Ability to act independently and make decisions within scope of the position’s responsibilities.
  • Ability to identify and analyze probate trust/estate issues and inquiries and to recommend and implement solutions.
  • Ability to organize, prioritize, and oversee numerous tasks from inception to completion, and ensure work is completed within strict deadlines.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously in a fast-paced, deadline-driven, detail-oriented work environment, and adapt to changes in workflow.  Proactive with excellent troubleshooting, problem resolution, and follow-through skills.
  • Possess excellent knowledge of reading, writing, grammar, spelling, punctuation, proofreading, and formatting in order to interpret source data, prepare probate and trust/estate-related documents and forms, proofread material for grammatical, typographical, and spelling errors, and perform file maintenance.
  • Ability to perform mathematical calculations and apply mathematical concepts when computing, reconciling balances, and verifying numerical data on forms and documents.
  • Ability to occasionally retrieve and distribute files, written documentation and copies, or office supplies weighing up to 20 pounds.
  • Work occasionally requires more than 37.5 hours to perform the essential duties of the position.
  • Ability and availability to travel to other firm locations when required.


The salary range for this role is $90,000 – $100,000 (nonexempt). Our client offers an benefit package that includes: medical/dental/vision, 401k with employer contribution; transportation fringe benefit program; back-up care option; generous paid time off policy; and long-term and short-term disability policies.




Job Type: Full-time, Hybrid

Salary: $90,000 - $100,000

Date Active: 4.15.2024

Exempt/Not Exempt: Not Exempt

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