As an estate planner, San Diegan Katie Shank (kshanklaw.com) is using her passion for the law to help individuals be prepared for when life comes to an end. Here, she shares why investing in an estate planner is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones alike. Listen in.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY ASHLEY SPRANKLES
Tell us about your career path. I’ve previously practiced in a few different areas of law, but truly love estate planning. Becoming a parent during the pandemic made it very apparent that the world can change quickly, and also that everyone can benefit from death and incapacity planning. I started learning all I could about this area of law, and founded my firm in 2021 to help singles, couples and families ensure their wishes are known and loved ones are cared for if something happens to them.
Why do you feel estate planning is an investment that’s worth making?
I see it as not only an investment in yourself, but as a gift you are giving your loved ones. Further, hiring an attorney to create an estate plan is worth it since we’ll make sure you actually do it; many people say they’re going to ‘get around to doing it myself’ and never do. Th e dangers in creating your own plan are many. Most people’s largest asset is their home, so I always say if you wouldn’t feel comfortable and confident buying or selling your home on your own, then you probably shouldn’t try to DIY your estate plan.
What sets you apart from other estate planners?
My history of working in law prior to becoming an attorney taught me that providing legal services is ultimately being in the business of customer service. I love running my own firm so I can structure everything with my clients’ experience as the priority. I nearly exclusively offer flat-fee packages for that reason. My clients can call or email me at any time during the process without worrying about being charged by the hour, and this creates a great open line of communication. I also include free updates to your plan for one year aft er signing. Whether a will-based plan or a living trust-based plan is the best choice for you and your family, I strive to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.
Words to live by? Lead with empathy.
The luxury I feel is worth every penny is... self-care. Whether it’s exercise, my skincare routine or even taking time out of my busy days to meditate, I never regret taking care of myself.