As I have reflected on this past year and the transfer of ownership to me from Colleen Sinclair Prosser, I often consider my “why.” “Why do I do estate planning? Why do we show up to work each day?” At the heart of my why is a desire to help others. Many businesses make the claim that their purpose is to “help others,” but as an estate planning and estate administration law firm, we do more than help.
When I was in law school, I knew right away that I did not want to be a litigator. I have always been the person that friends and family turn to for advice and I would often serve as a mediator in any conflicts. Unfortunately, the law can often be focused on conflict. As I went through my law school career, I began taking classes such as Business Drafting, Mediation, Estates and Trusts, Federal Income Tax, Debtor-Creditor and Bankruptcy, and Law Practice Management. All of these classes set me on a path to helping others, not arguing. However, there was one class where I found my true calling. The law school offered a practical course called, “The Elder Law Clinic.” The course was run not by a professor in the traditional sense, but a highly regarded practicing attorney, and we met in an office instead of a classroom. Our clients were low-income families and all of our services were offered free of charge. In the Elder Law Clinic, I was able to meet with multiple clients per week. What immediately struck me in those consultations was that those clients were sitting in front of me with an overwhelming problem and had no idea how to get started on a solution. My work in the clinic varied. For example, I advised a number of widows whose husbands had died leaving the family with crushing medical debt. I served as a guardian ad litem for a woman who had few family members and was placed into a guardianship proceeding by a hospital. I prepared a number of wills and power of attorney documents. All of the work was driven by one purpose – to help those families find solutions to their problems.
We talk about estate planning as being somewhat unique as it relates to the practice of law. We provide the legal framework for families to provide a lasting legacy, preserve their entire life’s savings, and often pass on enduring values. I do not know of any other law practice that is able to impact families in the way that we do. All too often I meet with clients that have had a transactional relationship with another attorney who drafted their will and they never heard from or saw that attorney again. At Sinclair Prosser Gasior we seek to build a different type of relationship with our clients – one that includes continuous support of our clients, and their families, throughout their lifetime. As the owner, I look to move the firm into the future by helping our clients create long-lasting legacies through well-crafted estate plans and long-term guidance, while continuing to provide the outstanding service cultivated throughout our long history.
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