There aren’t many industries that have as many confusing acronyms and as much special jargon as the law has. It’s unfortunate, because it makes the law and the legal strategic planning industry seem mysterious and opaque. We don’t think it should be that way.
Much of the special the language we use is derived directly from the Internal Revenue Code or specific court cases that open opportunities for new strategies. And most of the acronyms are either abbreviations for confusingly-named laws enacted by Congress or have evolved over time to describe in technical terms what a strategy is intended to do.
As an attempt to peel back the curtain, we provide our clients with a “brief” glossary of some of the more common terms and acronyms used in our industry. The word “brief” is in quotes because the document is still seven pages long(!) and only begins to scratch the surface. We think that in addition to the complex legal documents that implement a legal strategy, the instructive explanatory documents may be just as important. If someone doesn’t really understand what their plan does, they’re not likely to get the most out of it. Hopefully this guide useful to dispel some of the mystery surrounding the language lawyers use.
The “magic decoder ring” is available here: ELP Acronym & Jargon Decoder