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Probate & Property

[Note: This column was originally published by the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association in Probate & Property, Vol. 14, No. 2 (March/April 2000).]

An Internet Resources Update

By Daniel B. Evans, Technology-Probate Editor

The growth of the Internet, both in the volume of information it transmits and in its economic importance, has become a cliche. A parallel development has been the growth in volume and importance of communications by lawyers through the Internet and the legal resources available to lawyers through the Internet.

Mailing Lists

Although the World Wide Web, with its colorful graphics, sound effects and hypertext links, gets most of the publicity, "old-fashioned" e-mail and mailing lists that can automatically distribute e-mail to large numbers of subscribers are still a valuable resource for trust and estate lawyers. Through the contributions of subscribers to the list, a mailing list can serve as a news service for the latest legal developments, as a quick "reference desk" to answer difficult questions and as a "virtual colleague" with whom to discuss tax techniques and legal strategies.


The dark side of mailing lists is that they can be boring and annoying if subscribers are not considerate and do not follow standard e-mail practices and mailing list "netiquette." Wading through large numbers of poorly written messages can be time consuming and frustrating. Although a single message might waste only a few seconds of someone's time, multiplying those few seconds for a badly written message by thousands of subscribers can waste hours of colleagues' valuable time.

Some standard mailing list guidelines include the following:

Lists for Lawyers

For a list of law-related lists, try lawlists/info.html. Some of the more popular and useful lists for trust and estate lawyers include the following: 

Web Sites

One-site shopping for trust and estate law does not yet exist, but the following sites can be useful:

A number of lawyers and law firms also maintain web pages with articles on trust and estate law, as well as links to other resources. Many of the more informative sites can be found through the Findlaw and Lawguru sites listed above.

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