When Erin Nunes first joined the specialist law firm of Surprenant & Beneski some 20 years ago, it was as a legal secretary.
That first role may have been a low-ranking one, Nunes recalls, but it gave her a clear insight into the critical importance of the firm’s mission, which focuses on delivering premier elder law and estate planning support services to clients.
In fact, Nunes was so drawn by the work that she decided to study the law herself, first becoming a paralegal while still working at the firm before eventually earning her law degree in 2014, at which time she became an associate attorney.
In 2022, Nunes was promoted to partner at the firm, but the focus of her work has remained more or less the same: helping clients deal with the complexity of elder law and estate planning.
As Nunes recently told ThinkAdvisor, nobody has a crystal ball that shows what the future will bring, but that doesn’t mean a skilled attorney or financial planner can’t help clients prepare and plan for as many of life’s uncertainties as possible.
Of particular importance today is helping older clients protect their assets from being depleted by long-term care, Nunes said, and managing the complexities of affording care. It is also crucial to appropriately handle tax issues as they arise and to ensure that clients’ children and grandchildren will receive their inheritances as intended, even as tax laws change over time.
The services of specialist law firms like Surprenant & Beneski are in high demand as the U.S. baby boomer population navigates retirement and prepares to pass a substantial amount of wealth down to the next generations, Nunes said.
See the slideshow for a rundown of what Nunes sees as the biggest misunderstandings and overlooked factors that can hurt the estate planning process. Advisors who can help their clients avoid these pitfalls can deliver significant value to their clients and otherwise collaborate more effectively with estate attorneys and elder law experts.Start Slideshow