MY STORY – Estate Planning and Business Attorney Serving Maryland and Washington, D.C.
I began my law career at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., after seven years as a financial services professional. It was an incredible experience as I had responsibility for 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 as their corporate counsel. Those experiences included serving as lead counsel on securities offerings, corporate compliance, advertising, corporate sponsorship negotiations, contracts, labor and employment matters and counseling through a massive $3.5 billion merger.
I dreamed about going to law school and coming out and making 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. Everything related to our Estate Planning and Business Planning services are performed on a flat fee, agreed to in advance, so there are no surprises. You'll know exactly what it will cost to work with us, after we've gotten clear about what you want, and you'll even be able to choose your own fee. 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 the plan 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 at least every three years. And, we have two levels of membership programs that almost all of our clients participate in – either the gold program which provides you with a yearly plan review and unlimited changes to your plan or the gold plus program that includes an annual meeting with your attorney, CPA and financial advisor, plus ongoing legal guidance throughout the year.
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.
On a personal note, I'm a dad and a “pops” (show pictures of kids) – and, what my children bring to this experience for me is the awareness that planning is something that you do for the people you love the most. You won't be the one to benefit from the plan we are going to design for you today – the people who will benefit are the people you love the most who will be dealing with things after you're gone. So, before we get started talking about you and the people you love, do you have any questions about me, the firm or anything else that I said or didn't say?