For well over 42 years of private practice now, I have devoted my focus almost exclusively to living trusts, wills and basic estate planning for “salt of the earth” “Middle America” people. These are wonderful people who might not consider themselves “wealthy”, but are hard working, family loving people… who desire and deserve better than marginal and mediocre or even “cookie cutter” treatment all too commonly the “product” people receive in the truly important matter of preserving and protecting what they have worked hard to accumulate for the ones they love and the values they cherish.
I believe my clients have come to appreciate my relational approach, reasonable fees and commitment to remain on the journey with them and their family members.
I now feel a bit like the old family doctor who is still delivering babies to a 3rd generation of family members.
My work on estate planning has been featured in FORTUNE and MEDICAL ECONOMICS magazines.
My clients believe we live in a culture in free fall where few are spared the pain of loss to events like divorce, lawsuits, creditor problems, scams or even bankruptcies.
Yet most lawyers write trusts that don’t address these realities at all. They might talk about avoiding probate and taxes, and getting the estate to children when they are “old enough”. But that’s where the trust stops.
Problem is that if anything happens to children or grandchildren after “mom and dad” are gone, the trust mom and dad wrote and the money they spent for it, are worthless in the face of life events to keep inheritances safe from loss. I call those trusts “D.O.A.” … dead on arrival.
My clients appreciate my commitment to write their trusts designed to outlast their spouses and children, and survive divorces, lawsuits, creditor problems and such. The result is a well founded optimism that when they walk out my door they will have a trust that can allow the ones they love to rebuild their lives because “mom and dad” were thinking that far ahead.
I love the thought that I can help clients be empowered to protect their assets 40,50,60 or more years after they are gone.
I believe that if you are going to be spending time and money on a trust, you instinctively desire, and are justified in hoping you can gain a well founded sense of peace of mind, instead of an illusion of readiness common to so many trusts I see.
I would count it an honor to partner with you in your securing that kind of peace of mind in delivering such an outcome to you.
I hope you’ll grant me that privilege.
For a more in depth look into basics on wills and trusts, here’s a radio interview I did a while back that’s still “on point” except for some numbers having changed. For example, in California, the probate “problem” now starts at $150,000 (not $100,000) and estate taxes are NOT a “problem” until WAY past $11,000,000. But keep in mind, as I tell my clients, there’s more to life than probate and taxes…there’s LIFE. And we want out trust to have us and our children and grandchildren to be ready for “life” in the culture headed in the wrong direction.