A recent article was written in the STAR (Strategic Trusted Advisors Roundtable) Newsletter, featuring a partnership based on advocacy. Read the article below…
Susan Fox and DeEtte Loeffler (Miller, Monson, Peshel, Polacek & Hoshaw) met at a Lawyers Club function, but didn’t have much time to get to know each other at that event. Much to their mutual delight, their paths crossed again at a STAR meeting, and they took the opportunity to connect at a deeper level.
Susan was impressed with DeEtte’s character and legal acumen, while DeEtte admired Susan’s ability to work with older clients and serve as a caring advocate who has their best interests at heart. It wasn’t too long before DeEtte realized she had a client who could benefit from the services of a skilled fiduciary—so she made a referral to Susan.
As an estate planning attorney, DeEtte needs to know what her clients own, who their beneficiaries are, and what they want to do with their assets now and after they die. She also needs to know how they are doing health wise as they age. She knew all those things about the elderly woman she referred to Susan and she also knew that significant assets were missing from the client’s estate, which was being administered by a family member.
At DeEtte’s recommendation, her client appointed Susan as the new trustee, understanding that this situation warranted bringing in a professional who could advocate for her and ensure she was in a safe place. Susan stepped right in and marshaled the client’s assets, taking control of them to ensure that bills are paid and no more money disappeared. She even discovered the client had some stock that wasn’t noted in her estate, and made sure she received any dividends associated with it.
In addition to ensuring that everything is in balance with respect to the client’s finances, Susan makes personal visits on a regular basis to check on her health and overall wellbeing. She updates DeEtte as necessary to solidify the fiduciary-attorney partnership and provide the highest level of service to the client. Now that DeEtte and Susan have established a working relationship and understand each other’s particular skills, they look forward to further opportunities to collaborate.