Q: What takes up most of your day?
A: I spend nearly all of my time on estate
planning, trust administration and estate
administration matters, and charitable
planning. I do not handle litigation.
Usually what happens is: With the
estate plan I help prepare for the client,
after the client passes on, I will assist the
successor trustee in the administration of
the estate; in preparing their estate tax
return as needed; and in handling any
audit that may occur from the filing of the
estate tax return. Basically, I see the plan
from beginning to end.
Q: Is that difficult? Dealing with people
who have suffered such a loss?
A: From a personal perspective, it’s always
hard for me to lose a good client and it
never gets easy. But I get to help the family
through a difficult time. They’re dealing
with so many things: the personal loss of
a family member; the estate issues; tax
issues and sometimes liquidity issues; and
also personal issues within the family. I
have the opportunity to help them navigate
through that and try to alleviate some of
Q: Do families ever come to you after a
A: Sometimes that happens, too. I get cases
where, for instance, a person passes away,
and the attorney who handled the planning
is either not around anymore or feels the
case is too complicated to handle. So I
would handle the administration part of it.
Q: What are the percentages?
A: Probably 80 percent of the matters I
handle from beginning to end: planning
and administration. Many of my clients are
longtime clients, and that’s one of the best
things about my practice. It’s not a single
transaction where you’re done and you
move on. I know my clients for a long period
of time. I see their family grow, I see their
family change, so it’s really a nice long-term
relationship, which is not necessarily typical
in the practice of law. That’s why when I lose
a client, it’s very hard.
Q: What’s the minimum amount of
money someone should be worth before
they talk to you?
A: There’s really no hard and fast
number, per se. I always say to people:
If you want to know if I can help, give
me a call and I’ll talk to you about it. If
it’s a matter that I think someone else
can help you, that you don’t need my
services, I tell them, and I refer them to
other people in town.