I deeply enjoy my work as an estate planner, and developed this firm for several reasons. For many years, I practiced litigation in New York City and Denver. I found it fascinating and stimulating, but came to feel that – regardless of the outcome – no one truly wins in litigation. I watched people hold anger for years and spend thousands on negativity. It was not how I wanted to focus my energy, and applied myself to gain the acumen to excel in a non-adversarial field where I can better the lives of individuals in ways big and small. The immediate service I provide is the dignity I accord to my clients by listening to them with the attention they deserve. No one wants to acknowledge the certainty of death and the possibility of disability. Doing so and planning accordingly is a highly responsible and prudent step – one that I want my clients to feel proud of and, if possible, to enjoy. They know I view their lives as highly unique and deserving of close care and custom planning, and that I genuinely respect them for taking this step.
Estate planning is not simply about assets, it is about dictating the terms of end of life decisions. This is critical. Planning guardianship, medical and financial decisions now allows your voice to be heard when you can no longer speak for yourself. This lifts a tremendous burden from family members and helps avoid conflict at a time when emotions are raw and family relationships – fragile or strong – are vulnerable.
I have lost both my parents. At the time, my four siblings helped me cope with the loss. Now they help me celebrate the memories. The passing of each of my parents strengthened my relationship with my siblings. I know this is not always the case. My heart breaks when I hear stories of strife that erupts from the death or illness of a parent. As a litigator, I defended a woman in a suit brought by her sister over inherited family assets. The emotional wreckage was awful. Proper estate planning, by clarifying a host of medical, financial, and god forbid – guardianship – decisions, can avoid these tragedies. In addition, because of my close relationship with a number of individuals with disabilities, I am keenly motivated to facilitate the role special needs trusts and other planning tools can play in gaining and maintaining government services.
I graduated from Fordham University School of Law in New York City in 1993, and from Rutgers College in 1989. I am admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of Colorado and New York. I am a member of the Colorado Bar Association, and a member of the statutory revision committee of the Trusts and Estates section. I enjoy the outdoors in Golden, Colorado where I live with my three sons. Finally, I operate my estate planning firm to maintain the flexibility to care for the needs of my three children and to participate in their bright moments.
“Frieda provided us with the guidance, expertise, and personal options we needed to update our estate planning documents, including our will. The peace of mind we now feel is invaluable! We highly recommend Leonard Law for your estate planning needs.”
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