Note from Devin: I had the opportunity to help a professional blogger update her trust, and I asked her to write a testimonial about her experience. Here is Joan Koehne’s impression of our first meeting.
Moments into our estate planning session with Attorney Devin Shanley, he picks up three colored markers and starts drawing on the whiteboard. I guess it’s what you’d expect from a guy taking notes with a polka dot pen. This is no stuffy attorney we’re meeting with to update our estate plan. From the get-go, I can tell he has an exuberance for his job and a spirited way of guiding us through the serious decisions we need to make about what happens after our deaths.
Devin has a keen understanding of the law and could easily drown us in legalese, but he uses his whiteboard and his stories to keep it understandable.
“Let me tell you the story of my Uncle Larry,” he said at one point, and I leaned in to listen. I knew the story would result in a lesson about estate planning, but more than that, the story revealed part of who Devin is – talkative and entertaining, for sure, but on a deeper level, family-centered and loving.
I felt comfortable trusting him with some really weighty and extremely personal matters. He introduced one topic as “The parade of horribles: if both of you die and the kids die.” He led us through the “horribles” questions, and it wasn’t that horrible at all. He prefaced one topic by admitting he was going to ask an insensitive question, and that helped ease us into a new conversation. He even had us chuckling a few times over his one-liners, like “Here’s the inheritance, kids. Take it all. Just don’t spend it on candy.”
Together we determined the Koehne Family Trust established in 2002 needed a major overhaul. Estate laws have changed, and life has changed since 2002. We are now empty nesters, and our priorities as parents are different. In 2002 we were deciding who should raise the kids if something should happen to us. Choosing guardians was a big decision back then. Fast forward 16 years, and the tables are turned, because now we were choosing “guardians” for ourselves! We chose our kids to make financial and medical decisions if we’re no longer able to make these decisions ourselves. As disturbing as it is to envision ourselves as incapacitated or incompetent, it’s comforting to know that our kids – who really aren’t kids any longer – can be trusted with these mature roles.
“Really, it’s about what lets you sleep at night,” Devin said at one point. Working with Devin gives me the confidence knowing our estate planning is in good hands. Thank you! I hope this testimonial gives others a glimpse into the estate planning process with Attorney Shanley.
About the Author: Once a mild-mannered reporter, Joan Koehne has taken on the persona of her alter ego, Wonder Writer. In 2017 she went up, up and away to launch a writing services business, Writer to the Rescue, a division of Packerland Websites. Attorney Shanley is one of her blogging clients.
About the Attorney: Attorney Devin Shanley is the approachable expert clients can trust. A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Devin has been developing legal solutions in his beloved hometown since 2012. Married to Mo and dad to two rambunctious kids, he has a soft spot for the Green Bay Packers, grilling out, and playing with his kids. His areas of practice are Estate Planning, Family Law, Business Law, and Non-Profit Organization Law. Schedule your free consultation by calling 920-471-4337.