Let me first introduce myself. My name is Justin. I am not only the newest addition to the team at Hunter Estate and Elder Law, but I am fairly new to the legal profession after recently changing my career path. I thought I had an idea of what issues might be tackled by an estate planning and elder law firm, but let me be the first to say that I did not have a clue!
I had life experiences and law school to serve as training exercises. I thought that by observing relatives handle end of life matters, discuss their wills, and make health care decisions, that I was a few steps ahead of most of my peers and that I had a much better knowledge base than they did. Maybe that is true, maybe not.
Then I went to law school, so I could then proudly throw around some legalese such as “trust,” “attorney-in-fact,” “tenants in common,” etc., etc., and I even knew what they meant! I thought to myself, “look at me, I must be really smart! There is no doubt that I know so much more than the average person does about this stuff!”
Then I realized how little I really knew when I started working with the team at Hunter Estate and Elder Law. I have been able to learn from professionals that have been diving deep into so many more issues than I had even considered. There are so many things pertaining to estate and elder law that I had not really thought about: guardianships, Medicaid planning, the fact that no two trusts are quite the same...I could go on and on. I always thought that estate planning and elder law was all about tackling issues that came up after a person passes away. Little did I know that so much of it is about preparing for and taking on obstacles that may present themselves during one’s lifetime!
I have not been with other firms that handle estate planning so I certainly cannot speak for how they operate and what their philosophies might be. But, I can say that I am excited about being a member or a team that means it when they ask clients, “What can we do to help you?” I learned quickly that this is what matters the most. There is so much more to this profession than drafting a will and asking something like, “who do you want to get your stuff when you die?” The focus at this firm is on the individuals that we represent. It is about building a relationship with clients by showing that they will be genuinely cared about.
It is about helping people when they experience a time of crisis, like when an aging loved one is battling dementia and her family needs help to navigate through some of the obstacles that this has created. It is about giving clients peace of mind so that they can feel confident that what they have worked their entire lives to accumulate, can be protected and eventually distributed according to their wishes in hopes of making life just a little bit better for the people that come after them. It is this and so much more. Practicing exclusively in an area of law such as this is teaching me a lot. I now know that whatever I had learned from a law school lecture or read in a book is nice to provide a knowledge base, but it didn’t really give much insight to what is really the most important aspect of being an estate planning and elder law attorney – helping people. Building relationships and showing that you truly care about helping people when they are most vulnerable is the first priority. As the newest member of the team at Hunter Estate and Elder Law, I can say that I now have learned a lot about revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable remainder trusts, and special needs trusts. But, more important than any of those is the trust that is earned when you show someone that you genuinely care about helping them when they need you the most.
Come meet me at our next Lunch N Learn on January 29 at Noon at the Community Health Pavilion in Noblesville. Call 317-863-2030 for more information or register today.