September 13, 2014 was a beautiful day. It was my wedding day (The picture to the left was our actual wedding cake. My late wife designed it.). My wife and I were both a little older than typical, she was 32 and I was 36. Two days after the wedding, we jumped on a plane for our honeymoon, but my wife got sick on the plane. She never got better. After two months of tests, we found out my carefree (as she said, “Footloose and fancy free”) wife had terminal cancer.
I used to think estate planning was all about protecting and preserving assets, and that’s certainly a major part of it. But going through the loss of a loved one drastically changed my perspective. I have always done a good job of protecting the assets of an individual’s estate with the proper legal procedures. What I didn’t realize was how the lawyer can protect the survivors’ emotional needs.
All too often, lawyers do not think through some of the practical problems. Almost two years after my late wife’s death, I was in probate court for a client and had the chance to see several cases while waiting for mine to be called. The case right before mine could have served as a masterclass on what a lawyer should not do. From a legal standpoint, the lawyer had done nothing wrong. However, the lawyer’s plan was not practical. Because it wasn’t practical it very nearly cost the deceased’s children, who were in elementary school, their house. Fortunately, their aunt had been able to save the house just a few days before the kids lost it. If the lawyer who did that estate plan had considered the practical implications of the plan, that stressful situation could have been avoided.
At Reiff Law Office, we understand estate planning is not just about money and assets; it’s about people. We also understand the plan that works best for one person, or one family, may not be the optimal plan for others.
The best time to plan for the future is now. I learned that the hard way. I’d love to meet you and journey with you through this process.
|MN||Authorized to Practice||2003||08/20/2021|
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Trial Lawyer of the Year||Saliterman and Siefferman||2007|
|MSBA Employment Law Section for Excellence in Employment Law||Minnesota State Bar Association||2002|
|Attorney||Reiff Law Office||2009 - Present|
|Strusinski, Libby & Assoc., P.A.||2008 - 2009|
|Saliterman & Siefferman, P.C.||2006 - 2008|
|Tomsche, Sonnesyn & Tomsche||2005 - 2006|
|Olmsted County Attorney||2004 - 2005|
|law clerk||Minnesota Court of Appeals||2003 - 2004|
|honors legal intern||U.S. Department of Defense||2002 - 2002|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Republican National Lawyers Association||N/A||2008 - Present|
|Minnesota State Bar Association||N/A||N/A|
|Ramsey County Bar Association||N/A||N/A|
|Young Repubican National Committee||N/A||N/A|
|Minnesota Young Republicans||Chair||N/A|
|Hamline University School of Law||J.D. - summa cum laude||2003|
|Luther College||B.A. magna cum laude||2000|
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