Some firms say their goal is to be (or become) the “premier firm” in whatever field they happen to practice. I think this is a terrible goal, and I’ve never really understood it. How do you know if you’re the “premier” firm, what does “premier” even mean?
That’s not our goal. The problem with wanting to be the “premier” firm is it puts the focus on the wrong party: the lawyer or law firm. Me being Mr. wonderful does not help my clients, or the public. It may play to my ego, but for what purpose other than my own vanity?
Our goal is to help as many people as possible. People who are being abused over their inheritance. My partner, Stewart Albertson, coined the term “abused beneficiary” for this purpose; to identify those people who have suffered a stolen inheritance. Sometimes it comes in the form of outright disinheritance, other times it is a bad Trustee who abuses a beneficiary. Whatever the scenario, abused beneficiaries need help because they are disrespected and betrayed by their siblings, other family members, or wrongdoers. Abused beneficiaries often feel humiliated, displaced, ignored, exploited, and marginalized.
We want to restore the dignity of abused beneficiaries. We start with education. Trusts and Wills is a complex and confusing subject; far more confusing than people realize at first blush. In California, we do not have a unified system for passing assets from one generation to another. Instead, we have a patchwork quilt of ways in which assets can pass: Trusts, Wills, joint tenancy, beneficiary designation, intestate succession. And each of these methods is different and separate from the other, it can be a real mess.
Through (1) our blogs (both this one and our other blog, see here), (2) our books (see our newest book here, and we have two more in the works for release in December 2018 and March 2019, respectively), and (3) our videos (see here), we attempt to educate as many people as we can. If you only use one of these sources, and it helps you with your inheritance, then we have met our goal.
We also represent abused Trust and Will beneficiaries. Our goal for our clients is to (1) restore their dignity, (2) stop them from being ignored, and (3) reinstate their rightful inheritance. Many clients say “it’s not about the money,” and there’s a lot of truth to that statement. Of course, the lawsuit revolves around money, that’s a legal necessity because the estate assets are the nexus of your legal rights. However, your inheritance represents far more than money. It is a legacy from your family and a proxy for the respect you deserve as a member of that family. When someone says you were not loved or respected by a parent, and therefore deserve to be disinherited, it is devastating. That’s why our goal is focused on the needs of our clients—both financial and emotional. The principle behind your trust or will lawsuit matters, perhaps more than the money ever will.
We want to help as many abused beneficiaries as we can to regain their dignity. Whether through our educational efforts, our representation of abused beneficiaries, or any combination of the two. That’s our only goal.
We will let other’s decide if our unique goal makes us “premiere.” We certainly hope to make a positive difference the lives of our clients, and the public who use our educational sources for their benefit.