Helping Clients And Seeking Justice
We solve problems. Better yet, we help you avoid them!

529 25 1/2 Rd. #B210 Grand Junction, Co 81505


Client Care


Many of our clients have done well for themselves and have accumulated more than they prefer to leave their children and grandchildren alone; sometimes, they want to include a charity as part of their estate plan. We fully support our clients’ right to make the choices where they want their assets to go when they pass; we strongly believe that no child, grandchild or other family member are “entitled” to anything. In our way of thinking, there is no such thing as entitlement when it comes to parents deciding how to distribute their estate.
At the same time, though, there are situations where some person or some charity has pressed hard for some donation and possibly exerted some level of unfair pressure on a family. When we see that circumstance, we feel an obligation to discuss it with our clients. While a charity may not act entitled, it can convince someone that they have an obligation to give when there really is no such obligation.
We could write page after page of examples of the type of unfair or unnecessary pressure we have seen; most often that pressure is applied by high demand religions and/or the donors’ university or even favorite animal shelter. Sometimes, the pressure is subtle; other times, it is not. Regardless of the nature of the pressure, however, any time the donor is misled there is a problem that needs to be corrected.
Our goal in being this direct is not to identify and/or point fingers at the guilty institutions; instead, we only want to speak to those who have fallen under their influence. Every future gift to an institution should be capable of being overturned and every future commitment should be subject to reversal. We see our role as merely pointing out when a change might be appropriate, not to make sure that change happens. As a representative example of what we mean, consider this hypothetical scenario:

Ben and Elise have been religious their entire lives; they both come from the same religious background and raised several children in the same religious tradition. They both have families that did well enough so that they have inherited substantial amounts from each; they have been wise with those inheritances and early in their married life, made the decision that some of what they were accumulating would be given to the church that was such a large part of their lives.
As a result, they worked with the church’s philanthropy program and developed an estate plan that will leave a substantial amount of money to the church, while still providing an inheritance for each of their children and their families.
A couple of years ago, Elise began to be disenchanted with how the church was handling news reports of its assets; over time, Ben shared her concerns, to the point that he began to investigate the church’s management of its financial affairs. The more he learned, the more disappointed, and even angry he and Elise became; they both felt lied to and betrayed about the amount of money the church had accumulated and, even worse, the amount of charitable work it was NOT doing.
Ben and Elise happened to be friends with a member of our staff who watched them struggle with these recent discoveries and encouraged them to come see us. It was obvious to us in our first meeting that both Ben and Elise were not comfortable leaving the amount of money to this church that their original estate plan anticipated; it was equally obvious that they did not know what to do.
Over the next couple of meetings, we provided very little legal support; instead, we listened to their concerns and asked questions that we thought might help Ben and Elise clarify what they wanted to do. Ultimately, they decided that they wanted to reverse the arrangements they had made with the church.
Once they decided what they wanted to do, we began to suggest what documents were necessary to make their wishes effective. At that point, we helped them look at alternatives that met the same philanthropic goals, but did so outside the reach of any specific institution.

As we said, that description is hypothetical; there is no Ben and Elise in real life. But the situation we described is very real for many, many people. Of course, our role in providing estate planning advise and related services is not to force clients to do anything; instead, our goal is to help clients see all available options, especially when they have made decisions that they would like to change. We know when to listen and when to suggest action. When clients have agreed on a path forward, we do whatever we can to make those things happen. We never forget our role. Let us show you how that will work for you. Click here to reach us.