David M. Lutrey talks about rewarding aspects and his approach to law.
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I think this particular area of law, trusts, and estates allows an attorney the opportunity to actually really help people. There are certain times when a person with a disability finds himself in an abusive environment or a person of advanced age is no longer able to care for themselves or is being taken advantage of by a predator, a financial predator of some kind. And these types of situations allow us the opportunity to really be of service and really make an impact on people’s lives.
We are trying to provide value. When a client comes to us, our conversation always involves the cost and the likely benefit, and if we can’t find a way to provide value for the expense that we’re charging, we stop. And that is really our focus is providing value.
I got a call from the local senior center there was a woman living locally here with her adult son who had moderate mental retardation and was in his 50s, she was in her 80s. And the call basically was one where she was just asking if I could stop by and make sure that she was okay. We had learned that she hadn’t filed any income tax returns for the last few years so there’s just some concern there. I got the clients okay and went over and when I arrived at her house there were about six inches of unopened mail covering her living room floor. Her couch had been torn up by her dog and it ws pretty clear that she was in a situation that was overwhelming here. Living alone and caring for her adult disabled son had just taken its toll.
Her husband had passed several years prior and she really just needed help. So I was able to come in and sort through a few years’ worth of mail. She had no idea what assets she owned we were able to collect all the information concerning that and as it turned out, she had far more money than she thought she did. And we got her straightened out and eventually we got her moved to an appropriate living arrangement. We had her son approved for a group home nearby and he was much happier to be socialized with others of his similar condition. And that was a very rewarding case because it was one of those instances where we could really step in, find a situation that was unworkable, and really provide significant life changing value for the client.