I come from a blended family – and maintaining a healthy relationship with everyone in your family unit can be hard work. Families are complex, and while open and honest communication can help a family thrive, it is often the most difficult thing to achieve.
I am the oldest of four children. My parents had myself and my sister first. After their divorce, my father remarried and had two more children, my brothers. Right now, all four of us kids get along well. We are each unique, have different likes and dislikes, and have taken various paths in life. But we are all respectful of and love each other.
Over the past decade I’ve worked as a litigation law clerk. Early on in my career, my interest in estate litigation matters became clear. I connected deeply with that type of law and the interaction with families. What I find fascinating about estate litigation is that money is the most important factor, but the amount of money doesn’t really matter. Families are willing to fight over $10,000 in the same way they would fight over $1 million. During what is arguably the most emotionally taxing experience of their lives for family members, family dynamics, differing perspectives, conflicts and past experiences may arise.
While working with our clients, I found myself reflecting on my own family environment. It takes constant communication and deep acceptance of everybody’s intricacies, flaws, successes & failures, to achieve a strong family unit.
What I’ve realized over the past decade is that in those moments of heightened emotions for families, each member feels a deep need to be heard. Whatever they may say in those moments, even if it seems outlandish or irrational to others, there’s a reason why it is deeply important for them to say those things out loud for others to hear. That is why listening and validating their feelings of loss and grief is often all they really need. Most people just want to be heard.
My vision is to put families at the centre of the planning process and help harmonize that process by starting early and ensuring good communication among all loved ones involved along the way.
I hope I get the chance to work with you on your journey through life: planned together.