Estate Planning a Pleasant Part of Attorney's Business
Levin, Meta L., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Meta L. Levin Daily Herald Correspondent
Libertyville attorney Howard Lang had been in practice nearly 20 years and wanted a change.
"He got tired of being in a losing situation, even if he won," said his wife, Mary.
Interested in estate planning, Lang in 1991 joined the National Network of Estate Planning attorneys, with headquarters in Denver, and from there helped establish the Illinois/Wisconsin Forum of Estate Planning Attorneys.
If he ever doubted his change in career direction, those doubts were erased recently when Lang received a call from a client, a widow whose husband had died suddenly of a heart attack at age 50.
"We had done estate planning with the couple last year," Lang said. "She said she was really glad we had discussed all of those things, because it gave her insight into how her husband looked at death and what she should do if he died. All of the things were meaningful and gave her peace of mind. It was something she would not have known if we had not gone through the process."
The process is a combination of estate planning and discussion designed to foster the kind of communication that helped Lang's client. He uses the national forum's mission statement that, in part, says the group's goal is to "empower the clients of each member to control their property while they are alive, and, should they become disabled, take care of themselves and their loved ones, and finally, give what they have to whom they want, the way they want and when they want, and at the same time save every last tax dollar, professional fee and court cost possible."
Lang talks of "inverting the pyramid" to explain how estate planning attorneys who are members of the forum view their work. …