Although attending one of the top law schools in the nation on the east coast, the University of Virginia School of Law, it was always my goal to come back to the heart of the Midwest to practice. As an estate planner, I have the wonderful opportunity to collaborate and work with others, as well as get the satisfaction of addressing complex challenges. More importantly, there is the knowledge that I provide a service to people that has a real and practical impact on their day-to-day lives.
I had the benefit of participating in our school’s elder law clinic. The clinic was designed to help individuals with low means and almost no one else was looking out for them. Part of my responsibility was assisting these people with their estate plans, which meant helping them with their Wills. These people did not have a lot of assets; they were usually dogged by creditors and only occasionally owned a home. Despite this, they understood the need to plan and they wanted to plan. It provided them dignity; it let them know that what they had to pass on mattered, no matter the amount. It gave them peace of mind knowing that they had done what they could to provide and protect those they loved. Which is what most of us want— to know we did right by those we care about.
When I reflect on my clinic days, a thought occurs to me that I think is true even as I practice now, and that is how much vulnerability individuals and families carry into the estate planning process. Estate planning means addressing your concerns and worries, and everyone has them, though they are different. For my clients in the clinic, it was often the need to plan battling with their fear that they had too little. For others, it is an issue with their children or a couple’s differing goals. This is compounded by the fact that estate planning is built on a system of rules that is confusing to those new to it. People do not know how or where to begin, and so they don’t.
When I have the opportunity to work with an individual, I have the privilege of your confidence, as well as your trust that I will help care for you. At the end of the day, my goal is to carefully navigate you through the planning, replacing uncertainty and fear with the assurance and a peace of mind knowing you have planned ahead.
When not doing estate planning, you can find me watching college football, especially enthusiastically cheering on the Nebraska Huskers. I enjoy contributing to the art culture of our community by serving on the Sculpt Siouxland Board. I am also an avid runner and reader and appreciate great sushi.
Breandan is licensed in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.