After graduating in the top of my law school class, I joined a law firm with the dream of becoming a trusted advisor to my clients. I quickly discovered that the personal lawyer relationship I had envisioned no longer exists in today’s age of billable hours and complex form documents spit out of a computer.
At hundreds of dollars per hour and billing in six minute increments, very few people are willing to pay for anything more than a fast form will that gives them the feeling of having done the right thing, but too often they do not accomplish their intended goal.
I have seen families find themselves in the middle of long and expensive court processes after a family member dies, despite the fact that the deceased had worked with an attorney on his or her estate plan. Turns out, many lawyers are so focused on their fast form documents, that they don’t counsel their clients on the proper way to title and transfer their assets. Thus, many estate plans fail when they are needed. The first time I encountered this, I was shocked. I thought clearly the attorney must have committed malpractice. Unfortunately, over time I discovered that the best firms across the state and country do it the same way. It is not malpractice, it’s common practice!
Even when a lawyer did their job of re-titling the client’s assets, more often than not, I discovered most (if not all) of them would “fall out of trust” within 3-5 years of signing because the trust wasn’t kept current. This means the trust fails and the documents are virtually useless.
In addition, for families with young children, one of the biggest motivators for completing an estate plan is to appoint a guardian to protect and care for the children if something should happen to the parents. Yet, with the documents used by most lawyers, the children are still at serious risk of being placed in child protective services or foster care temporarily if the parents die or are admitted to the hospital.
I founded Carolina Family Estate Planning to focus on serving people who want to guarantee their plan will work when their family needs it most! Our clients appreciate knowing we will be there to advise their family when they can’t be because they are people who expect things to change throughout their lifetime and who want a relationship with a trusted advisor who will guide them through those changes. We serve people who are busy, love kids and want to leave the world a better place. Let us help you protect those you love.
I grew up in a suburb of Boston, and I earned my Bachelors of Science in economics and public policy at MIT in 2002. I then moved to Virginia and attended law school at the University of Richmond. In 2006, I graduated magna cum laude from UR, and my husband and I chose to relocate to North Carolina. I am married to a wonderful electrical engineer, and we have two lovable dogs. When I’m not spending time with friends and family, I also enjoy running, cycling, baking, reading, hiking, listening to music and more!