Creative v. precise. Artistic v. objective. How often do we find passions or professions that utilize both sides of our brain? I'm lucky enough to have discovered how to get one side to support the other. I have two separate businesses, but they are related enough that what I learn from one directly makes me better at the other.
A little history first. My undergraduate degree is in journalism and public relations. During that time, I came across a cassette tape of stories told by my grandmother. She passed away during my elementary school years. Hearing her voice brought me right back to the hours spent snuggled up on the couch with her watching TV or reading a book. I transcribed those stories and turned them into a short book for my family. That sparked an idea in me that didn't seem to exist at the time, a career as a personal historian capturing stories, experiences, beliefs, and legacies to hand down to future generations (TimesFly, LLC).
Fast forward several years, my love of technical details and in depth analysis led me to law school for my JD and more law school for my LL.M. in Taxation. Tax law, you can't get much more left-brained than that. My focus has always been in estate planning, probate, business and tax law, especially the intersections of them all, where organization is key.
As an estate planning attorney, the goals and objectives shared with me by my clients spark my curiosity to know more detail about their history. The histories I've recorded have taught me just how deep family emotions can go and how long they can survive, sometimes resulting in unbelievable disputes after the death of a loved one. I have been a part of many such disputes as a probate attorney. My goal as both an attorney and personal historian is to assist my clients in ensuring that their legacy is passed on according to their wishes. A legacy isn't just accumulated wealth or assets, it's the values, beliefs, and sacrifices that that created them. Even if you don't have an impressive net worth, your life and history have a high value.
In this Thanksgiving month, I am thankful to be where I am, doing what I do, for the clients I do it for. Whether saving estate taxes or fond memories, one side keeps making the other side stronger.