In 1988 I started law school at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. I was a newlywed with a M.S. in psychology. I worked with a partner to win the Regional Mediation Counseling Competition. I thought I would graduate and practice forensic law or go into Mediation. I came to St. Louis Missouri with two young children in tow and started a part-time career at Monsanto working with QDROs. I was a mom and an attorney. It was a start, but not quite the career start I wanted. I decided to open my own law firm somewhere between 1992 to 1993.
Why Estate Planning?
Back in the day, a general practitioner attorney was common. However, it's always better to find a niche—find a passion for an area of the law. Estate planning became my niche. I did meet another attorney, a mom herself, who encouraged me move into that direction. In the 1990s estate planning meant living trusts and wills with a general power of attorney. A/B trusts were for couples who had less than $600k. I threw myself into two areas: estate planning and school law working with ADA and IEPs. My work for parents of children with disabilities in school law gave me a strong foundation to help parents and their children later in estate planning.
As with any niche, growth requires lifelong learning. Estate planning changed over the course of years, expanding into elder law, special needs, succession planning, legacy planning, and even trust administration. Elder care today is a large piece of estate planning.
Estate Planning and Elder Law
The Estate Planning of the 1990s is different than estate planning for today. Education and awareness included a focus on senior issues and special needs. . In the 1980s Seniors with advanced dementia were often in psychiatric care. Today, people receive memory care. My previous work in facilities with seniors in the PIT (psychiatric intensive unit) showed me the struggles of those with mental illness and seniors with memory issues or incapacity.
As Baby Boomers aged, estate planning morphed into estate planning for Seniors. New understandings of special needs and Alzheimer's or Dementia means creating plans to meet different needs such as providing for incapacity issues in estate planning or talking about VSED (Voluntary Stop Eating and Drinking).
Another change in estate planning is the need to plan with special needs trusts. As children aged into adulthood with Downs Syndrome or other special needs, guardianship, and special needs trusts for a quality of life became important. Even today the awareness about children on the Asperger's Spectrum Disorder or Autism creates a need to work with parents and special needs trust.
Better education, better medical attention, and better public awareness helped people understand the importance of estate planning. Awareness means helping more people put a better estate plan in place.
Why Choose Sheri Tucker?
Why choose Sheri Tucker as your attorney? I use my MS in psychology and experience working with seniors and people with disabilities in estate planning. I enjoy the opportunity to help create the plan that is best for a person or family in need of more care or complex planning. Empathy and knowledge come together to help me be a better estate planning attorney.
Estate planning with Seniors is not a template to fill in and complete. Rather, it requires deep understanding of unique needs and planning. Elder Care is a part of living trusts, and advanced powers of attorney. To be a strong advocate for seniors, I am a community member of NAELA – National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Staying informed and current strengthens my ability to represent seniors and people with disabilities. When you choose me as your attorney, you choose an attorney dedicated to what you need
Why Your Estate AllyTM?
There are many different firms in the community. Why choose Your Estate Ally? As most lawyers hanging a shingle tend to do, I started a law firm with my last name. I wanted to project my vision for my law firm. The law firm is your estate ally. It's more than planning your estate; it's being a lifelong ally. As life changes, you have an ally to work with, to change, modify, and educate successor trustees.
I'm part of a larger legal community. I'm a member of WealthCounsel, a nationwide organization. WealthCounsel provides resources, coaching, and mentoring in estate planning, elder law, and trust administration. It also allows me to reach into other states to help find representation when clients move to another state.
I'm also a member of American Bar Association, which helps me grow in managing my law firm business. A lawyer learns the law in school. However, it takes more than a law degree to run a law firm. It's been an interesting path to building a firm. I'm part of a larger group of solo practitioners in all different areas of the law. We meet and talk about the latest business book to read or the best technology for a firm. It's the relationships grown over the years that means I can pick up a phone to help my clients find another attorney like the personal injury attorney Julie Siegel with Siegel Injury Law, or Morris Turek for trademarks with Your Trademark Attorney, or a business attorney like Mike LaBozetta with Faro Law. It's not big law where you get lost in a large national corporation. It's a local law firm --it's a part of personal care service.
Your Estate AllyTM provides personal care service for your peace of mind. Your Estate AllyTM is a law firm with a dedicated focus in estate planning and elder law, probate, and trust administration.
BOOK WITH YOUR ESTATE ALLY
Let's start your complimentary consultation to talk about estate planning. There is an estate plan that is right for you, your family, and your goals. Your Estate Ally offers a limited time complimentary consultations to discuss your estate needs. Call me at 314-332-0011 or book a consultation today.