MY STORY – Estate Planning and Business Attorney Serving Maryland and Washington, D.C.
After seven years as a financial services professional, I began my law career at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., in 1994. Serving as a SEC lawyer was an incredible experience. My responsibility included reviewing and commenting on various initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and periodic corporate filings. Over the next seventeen years my experience included working for three major U.S. corporations in various corporate counsel roles. Those experiences included serving as lead counsel on securities offerings, investment advisory counsel, corporate compliance, advertising, corporate sponsorship negotiations, contracts, labor and employment matters and counseling through a massive $3.5 billion merger.
I attended law school with the premises that I would make a difference in people's lives, but in reality, I ended up working in “corporate America”, where my legal experience was totally transactional and didn't truly serve individuals and small business owners in the way I do today.
When I opened my practice in April 2011, I followed the mantra of many other law firms and performed work primarily on a billable hourly rate that was as high as $400. And, as you can imagine my clients wanted me to do everything as quickly as possible with as little communication as possible. They didn't want to talk about certain concerns or issues, they were afraid to call because they didn't know how much that call would cost them and whether it was worth it.
I opened this firm with the idea of bringing back the Personal Family Lawyer relationship - where initial planning is just the beginning of the relationship and we're focused on putting in place a plan we know we will work for you and the people you love. Over the last ten years, the firm has grown into the type of service provider where we do things differently based on my experience with the traditional model of estate planning.
First of all – We make every effort to eliminate billing on an hourly basis. Nearly every facet of services related to Estate Planning and Business Planning services are performed on a flat fee, agreed to in advance, so there are no surprises. You'll know with near precision what it will cost to work with us, after we've gotten clear about what you want. Then, after the initial planning process, we have options so that you can ensure your plan stays up to date throughout your life, and again you'll know exactly what that costs and choose your own fee there.
Second – we're here to support you. You'll be able to speak to someone to get your questions answered promptly. And, if you need to speak with me about something that someone on my team cannot answer, we'll get a call scheduled so that I can be prepared, and you can be prepared, and we won't waste your time playing phone tag.
Third – we see planning as just the beginning of the relationship whereas in the past, estate planning was viewed as a one-time transactional event.
Once you sign your planning documents, that is when the relationship really begins. At no additional charge, we review your plan once during the first two years.
Finally, we don't just focus on passing on your financial assets, but your whole family wealth. Family wealth to us include the values, intellectual, spiritual and human assets that you wish to share with your loved ones. Our process includes guidance to you on passing on those intangible assets. We include that with every plan and our clients and their families love having that as part of their plan.
These are just a few of the things that make our firm different. We're the best fit for people who don't just want to leave their family a set of documents that may or may not work, but instead want to use the estate planning process to pass on a legacy of love and care and ease. And keep their family out of court and out of conflict.