Practicing law is my second career. I began as a teacher of students with special needs and had a wonderful, 20-year first career in that field. For that reason, I have a special passion for families of all types. I believe that my years as a teacher have formed my ability to relate to all types of people in all types of relationships. I often say, “It turns out, we are all just folks.” I believe that lack of pretense makes me unique among lawyers. During my last several years of teaching, I developed a keen interest in the law and had a not-so-secret desire to go to law school. When my third child was four years old, I left the field of education and attended the University Of Kansas School Of Law, where I received my J.D. in 2001. I have been licensed to practice law in Missouri since 2001 and in Kansas since 2002.
Since beginning my legal career, I have had the opportunity to learn, first-hand, how important estate planning is to those loved ones you leave behind. I experienced the loss of my father, my mother, and my only sibling within a very short period of time. Leading up to those losses, I found myself experiencing the processes and pitfalls involved in guardianship and the use of both financial and healthcare powers of attorney. Following those losses, I was called upon to administer the estates of my own loved ones. These experiences brought home to me the necessity and value of estate planning for the sake of those called upon to carry out those plans. This perspective has been invaluable in making recommendations to my clients and in helping them to make well-reasoned decisions at a time when emotions are not yet involved.
Through life’s many unique and challenging experiences, I have learned and I now believe that life is about relationships. Although our assets and other gifts may help form and enhance those relationships, life is about much more than money. Warmth, likability, and honesty build the best relationships – business and personal. I strive to bring these values to every client through the delivery of my service to them. My approach is not focused on “document production” for my clients, but instead is focused on “relationship building” with my clients. This relationship building includes educating my clients so that they do not leave just knowing that they have taken care of things; instead, they leave understanding how things are taken care of and how the processes will work to reach the goals they intend.
In order to stay in-tune with the latest trends and developments in Estate Planning, I became an active member of WealthCounsel and ElderCounsel, national communities of top estate planning professionals committed to the highest standard of practice excellence. These collaborative organizations, including seminars taught by nationally recognized thought leaders, keeps me on the leading edge of the newest estate planning ideas and approaches.
Through caring relationships and continuing to build my knowledge of estate planning products and benefits, I want to provide you with an understandable, complete, and uniquely relational estate planning solution.