The legal profession often has a prominent role in works of fiction in print, movies and television drama. While an attorney is just as likely to be depicted as a force for good or evil as an individual character, considerable poetic license is typically taken with the manner in which specific fields of law are portrayed. For example, a New York resident is commonly involved with an estate planning lawyer in the regular course of setting up a will and other estate planning documents, but how that business transpires bears scant resemblance to the plotline of the book or Hollywood movie.

Not only in best sellers do dramatic and significant events come to play when an important and successful person dies. Large sums of money, controlling interests in business and other avenues of influence and power are at stake. But unlike fictional accounts, the reading of a will with all the heirs, beneficiaries and other interested parties present almost never happens. Drama and intrigue may be part of the deal but not with everyone present in one room.

Will contests seem par for the course in dramatic works as well, with the rightful heir or heirs having to do battle against those who would deprive them of their rightful inheritance. Although real life is not always so clear as to right and wrong, will contests are becoming more commonplace. Perhaps it is because blended families are more the norm today than the exception, and maybe, in this instance, real life is imitating art.

The primary purpose of estate planning is to convey one’s wishes in a manner that is complete, comprehensive and will survive any attempts to contradict the specified terms. An estate planning lawyer might provide counsel on all estate planning procedures and probate.