Attorney at Law
As a child I had a very strong sense of justice, from a young age. I never wanted to see someone treated unfairly. Once I was old enough, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer.
But I also learned that I was a planner, not a litigator. My natural tendency is to plan for every contingency, well ahead of time. You should see my pantry. My husband calls it hoarding, but I call it planning!
As a planner, business law and real estate law were a natural fit, but I found my passion and my plan ahead nature could best be used in estate planning.
I have seen many times the effects of good, bad and non-existent estate planning, and absolutely want to help others to plan properly for the inevitable.
As a widow (since remarried to my husband Brian who also works in the law firm), I completely understand the devastation and confusion the surviving spouse feels, and I know that proper planning lifts a tremendous burden from the survivor. It's an immeasurably valuable gift to one's family, in the time that they need it most. I personally experienced the values of having in place:
- A comprehensive estate and disability plan when my late husband was diagnosed with cancer.
- All the tools and financial support I needed to obtain medical records, make medical decisions, and obtain 24/7 in-home care for him.
- Authority to access financial and other assets with very few questions asked and without having to go to court.
When we received dreaded diagnosis, it might not have been too late to plan, in theory, but in reality it would have been too late because from that moment forward managing his care was more than a full-time job. Fortunately, we already had plans in place.
Additionally, my father was in an assisted living facility due to dementia before he passed. I am grateful to have been able to help my mother plan for her husband's incapacity by drafting thorough medical and financial powers of attorney, as well as reviewing and amending my parents' rather dated, simple, and dreadfully flawed estate plan (that my mother had naively obtained free from a trust mill associated with a name brand financial management company). I also took steps, before it was too late, to ensure that important assets were transferred to my parents' trust (something the drafting attorney failed to do, an all-too-common occurrence).
Helping others avoid the pitfalls of failing to plan, failing to fund their existing plan or failing to update their plan as their life and the law changes is my passion; it's why I do what I do. I work directly with my clients to not only insure that they have the plan they need and want, but that the assets are transferred to the trust when possible, and beneficiary designations are updated correctly. It's taking the extra time to make sure that the details are properly attended to that makes the difference between a successful plan and a failure.
A maxim I live by: What is more valuable than ensuring your loved ones will be well-provided for according to your wishes after your passing, and that they will not undergo any additional unnecessary stress and expense at your passing?
At Cumberland Legacy Law, it is incredibly easy to actually talk to a real attorney: Just pick up the phone and call. I answer the phone almost half the time, actually. If am not able to talk to you at that time I will return your call with 24 hours, often within one hour if during business hours. Clients can always call or email to ask questions at no additional charge.
I graduated with a B.S. degree from Arizona State University in 1983 and a J.D. in 1986. I am a member of WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel and Lawyers with Purpose.
When not helping clients we combine their love of animals with our passion for flying by transporting adopted pets from shelters to their new forever homes, often to another state. We also love to explore our newfound home of Tennessee, either by flying or driving the backroads, seeking that next great diner or barbecue joint, and live bluegrass music.
You can read more about Brian's and Nina's exploits here.