Bob Nennig is an Estate Planning attorney. He helps people prepare their lives and finances for their death or disability. This sounds simple enough. Everybody dies, and it should not be that difficult to figure out what we have. So, all we have to do is figure out where we want things to go and put it in writing.
But there is a lot going on here. It is one thing to acknowledge that everyone is going to die at some point. This is very clinical in a sense. We are talking about other people and of course they will. Now, say that about yourself. This is not so easy. And to sit with someone and talk about his or her eventual death is a conversation most people do not want to have. Facing our own mortality is about the hardest thing most people will have to do. There is a finality about it that is difficult to grasp.
Next, in most cases, we are talking about family. If it only involves spouse and one or two children, it may be simple enough. But often there are complications, such as a second marriage, step-children, and children with special needs, children who need financial assistance or protection and many variations of the above.
Combine the above and it gets to be complicated. Guiding a conversation through this and coming up with a workable plan requires a very specific ability and skill set.
There is a basic knowledge of the basic vehicles based on a certain set of circumstances, and of course, the ability to apply them to the matter at hand is certainly a necessary skill. Many lawyers have or can get these tools. Those alone, however, do not make for a great Estate Planning attorney.
In addition to the technical and legal skills, there are two critical things that take it from competent to great. These are the ability to listen, and compassion. It is easy to gather the basic facts, suggest a course of action, and then set out to explain why it is the best way to go. But this just gets a will, or perhaps a trust. What takes it to the next level is being able to listen to the concerns of the person doing the planning. In most cases, they do not speak legal-ese. But they do speak from their heart. And it is what they say that permits the great Estate Planning attorney to go above and beyond a simple plan that puts a will or trust into place.
And finally, there is compassion. This is the ability to empathize with the client and let them know you understand what they are going through. This is the ability to let them know that what they are experiencing is normal and that they need not feel bad. In fact, if they did not need something special, that they would be unusual.
Bob Nennig has the technical skill set. But Bob has that next level of skills. Bob listens and does so with compassion. I have sent many people to Bob, and do so without hesitation, knowing my clients will get a great experience.