First and foremost, I’m a mom. As with many parents, the transition to motherhood changed my perspective on what is important in life. As a mama, the biggest responsibility that I have is protecting my babies. As parents, we spend so much time making sure that our children have what they need to be healthy, happy and successful, whether that’s researching dozens of baby products, planning birthday parties, touring schools, being there to see our child’s big game or school play… we are constantly doing everything we can to ensure that we have set our children up for happiness and success.
Yet far too often, we don’t think about and prepare for what would happen if we are no longer there for our children. This isn’t something that any of us want to think about, but it is something that we can prepare for. I understand how difficult these conversations can be, and that the thought of not being here for our little ones can be paralyzing, but the lack of preparedness in the event that the unthinkable happens is so much worse. If given the option, most parents would prefer to have a plan in place for their little ones and be a part of the decision-making process. I am here to simplify that process for you, to educate you and walk you through the various options, and to empower you to make sure that you’ve done everything you can to protect and plan for your loved ones if you are no longer able to do so.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Santa Clara University. Prior to going to Duke Law, I worked in homeless shelters in San Jose, CA, helping clients with basic needs, ensuring that they had food to eat and a bed to sleep in. I made the decision to go to law school because I wanted to have a meaningful impact on people’s lives. While living in North Carolina, I had the opportunity to work directly with clients through the AIDS Legal Assistance Project in Durham, N.C., providing legal assistance to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. I went from working directly with the homeless prior to law school, to fighting for clients that were facing potential homelessness because they were unfairly denied social security disability benefits. It was a rewarding experience to be able to fight for these clients and affect change in a way that positively impacted their lives, securing vital sources of income and allowing them to stay in their homes and live their lives with dignity.
It was at the AIDS Legal Assistance Project (now called the Health Justice Clinic) where I had my first experience with estate planning. I worked with clients to put in place end-of-life documents, such as wills, powers-of-attorney, advanced directives, and documentation relating to guardianship of minor children. I was able to see first-hand the impact of having these documents in place, and what happened when someone died or became incapacitated when no planning had been done. I sat down with clients to discuss what it was that they wanted when it came to their own death or incapacity. I fought for children who had lost their parents to AIDS, and went to court to address guardianship when there was no documentation in place. To be able to help someone put the right documentation in place to ensure that a client’s decisions would be carried out, to help them retain their dignity as they near the end of life, and to work with those individuals after a loved one had passed to ensure that their wishes were carried out have been some of the most significant and rewarding experiences of my career.
When I moved back to San Francisco, I continued these efforts at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley before moving into the corporate setting. I spent the next 14 years climbing the corporate ladder at a large bank, negotiating complex financial contracts and handling complicated regulatory matters while building a diverse and talented team of over 50 amazing hard-working individuals. While this experience was very fulfilling from an intellectual perspective, I missed the connection and satisfaction of working one-on-one with those in our community.
When I became a mom, my priorities shifted and I made the decision to change paths. I wanted to get back to the work that I found the most joy and satisfaction in, working one-on-one with clients to make sure that their families would be taken care of should the unthinkable happen, focusing on what matters most - family.
I started KA Law to do just that.
KA Law is a boutique law firm that offers a compassionate and thoughtful approach to estate planning. Estate planning is so much more than putting a set of documents in place. It is about planning for your family’s future and making sure that your loved ones are cared for. It’s about defining your legacy and how you want to be remembered. It’s about making sure that your assets go to the people that you want them to go to, in the manner that you want them distributed. It’s about minimizing transfer costs and ensuring that your family is not bogged down in the court system unnecessarily. It’s about making your wishes known, so that your family doesn’t end up in conflict - making things as straightforward and uncomplicated as possible for your family during one of the most difficult times that they will ever go through.