People often ask what type of law do I practice. When I used to tell them estate planning, I would often get a puzzled look. I wrongly assumed that terminology familiar to bankers, financial advisers, and legal professionals was helpful to the person asking the question. A very good technical answer to the question-what is estate planning?-is provided under that practice heading in this site. My new answer to the question-what type of law do I practice?-is that I help families and business owners plan for incapacity and death. I believe the answer to WHY I practice “estate planning” is a far better way to determine if we are a good fit to work together.
Helping families and business owners plan for the future is a fascinating and rewarding way to make a living. In order to do my job, I gain insight into the history of a family and possibly a business. When I first meet a prospective client, I want to determine what are the client’s concerns. Many clients believe that all we talk about in these planning meetings is where does my property go when I die. I would not be doing my job if I didn’t make sure those goals are met. But where the property goes, is only the tip of the iceberg. By understanding your planning needs, I can design a plan that works through whatever uncertainties you face between now and your death. Some of these uncertainties are:
- What if I become incapacitated before my death?
- Who will make my health care decisions and financial decisions if I am unable?
- What is the impact on my plan of the death, divorce, or disability of a child or grandchild?
- If I remarry after the death of my spouse, will my children’s inheritance be put at risk?
These are just a few issues I have been helping families with for over 15 years. I enjoy the challenge of understanding my client’s concern and implementing a solution in state of the art legal documents. That is why I love doing what I do.