Jean is a natural teacher at heart, but her approach is neither patronizing nor pedantic. Depending on a client’s personal situation, there are likely several planning options available to achieve their goals. Some options are tax driven, some are driven by personal matters, such as having a child with special needs, and some are a blend of both. Says Jean, “the decisions clients make in the planning process are significant and have consequences. It is vitally important to me to know that clients understand the various planning options – the pros and the cons – so they can make informed decisions. I pride myself on making complicated concepts clear and understandable.”
Jean understands that planning for incapacity, death and taxes is something most people are not eager to do. However a thorough and organized estate plan is a gift to those you leave behind, a clear road map of what happens following your death. Explains Jean, “A well-crafted estate plan will minimize the chance for confusion and conflict after your death. My goal is to deliver it with clarity and competence, and hopefully some smiles and light-heartedness along the way. It doesn’t have to be just doom and gloom.”
Helping these clients and their families through these difficult situations is what makes my job gratifying.
Just as there are decision points in the planning process, so are there decision points in the post-death administration process. “I know I am meeting with clients at one of the most difficult times of their lives. They may be feeling overwhelmed and scared,” observes Jean. Jean’s patience and compassion, along with her expertise, provide immeasurable comfort to clients in the post-death administration phase.
Jean grew up in the Midwest, where she attended college (University of Wisconsin – Madison) and law school (University of Wisconsin Law School, Cum Laude). After practicing in the estate planning group in a large, Midwest law firm, Jean made the move west to Lakin Spears, in Palo Alto, where she continued her practice. After 19 years at Lakin Spears, Jean fulfilled a dream and launched Kohler Legacy Law Group with her long-time Lakin Spears colleagues, Victoria and Sue.
Jean’s vision in founding Kohler Legacy Law Group was to create a boutique law firm where clients receive top-notch, personal and compassionate estate planning and administration advice in an environment of trust, discretion and integrity. Says Jean, “We have a special team here. Victoria, Sue and I know and trust each other’s strengths and specialties, and we share the same values when it comes to client service. We understand that by supporting each other, we best support our clients. We are rewarded with long-term and close client relationships, often multi-generational, and many word-of-mouth referrals.”
We care about all clients the same – whether you are a young family just starting out, a seasoned entrepreneur, an inheritor of family wealth or a widow or widower.
Jean lives in Los Altos with her family, where she spends her time attending the various sporting events of her young son. When she can, she enjoys visiting family in Puget Sound.