September 2018 – K. Alice Young

K. Alice Young of Nusinov Smith LLP began volunteering with MVLS back in 2013. Since then, Alice has assisted 11 clients and provided mentoring in 10 cases. She takes estate planning, estate administration, and deed change cases. She has also provided her expertise as a resource for other MVLS volunteers in her capacity as a speaker for MVLS trainings on all things estate, including two estate administration trainings and a Third Thursday webinar on Avoiding Probate. Alice regularly provides guidance for staff attorneys as a mentor and in 2015, she was the recipient of the MVLS Partnership Award, highlighting all of the amazing work she’s done for our clients. Alice will be providing the Sept. 7 Estate Administration Training, which you can still register for via webinar. MVLS couldn’t be happier to work with Alice on a variety of different projects and to recognize her as our September Volunteer of the Month. You can read more about her experiences with pro bono at MVLS below:

1.Why do you choose to volunteer with MVLS?

My work in estate planning and administration often centers on times of difficult transition.  Some folks imagine they must have a yacht, a wine collection, and a few homes to warrant ‘estate planning.’  In reality, everyone who has something they or someone they love needs to write down wishes to direct their end-of-life care, to provide for the management of their personal finances and to make gifts of those things of value on their passing.  The absence of these directions can disrupt families and sow chaos.  Estate planning provides clients with peace of mind by writing out those directions in a way that ensures their wishes will be honored by the people they have designated to carry them out.  Volunteering with MVLS allows me to provide that peace of mind to clients who may otherwise be financially shut out of receiving reliable assistance.

2. Do you have any stand out stories?

I recently completed a MVLS estate planning matter for a married couple who reached out for services following a community event promoting MVLS.  Though they had been married for decades and raised their three children together, they were not both the natural parents of all three.  Their wish to treat them equally in the distribution of their estates might go unheeded without the benefit of proper planning.  We worked together to create an estate plan that will ensure their desire for equal treatment is carried out.  The clients expressed true relief with the realization that they had a lawyer who understood their perspective and that their wishes would be honored.

3. What is your favorite part about volunteering with MVLS?

MVLS makes volunteering fun and easy.  The Pro Bono Portal color codes each case type so I can drill down by geography and find an estate case whenever I am ready to take on a new matter.  MVLS also provides great legal education opportunities to encourage attorneys to brush up their skills and sharpen their knowledge.  Taking a MVLS course taught by experts in their respective fields brings together like-minded attorneys committed to broadening access to legal services for underserved populations.

4. Why should other attorneys do pro bono?

Becoming a lawyer is a journey rewarded by being a valued member of the community.  With that expertise also comes a responsibility to use these special skills to help others on their journeys, too.  It takes a little time and energy, but the deep and long-lasting impact an experienced attorney can have on the lives of clients and their loved ones provides an additional reward.