Elijah G. Deese
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
While many attorneys are drawn to the legal field by the glory of flashy courtroom scenes and legal battles, my passion has always been helping my clients avoid the expense, stress, and turmoil of such legal conflicts and court proceedings.
Clients often tell me that they were nervous about talking to an attorney because they imagined a cold, distant, and paternalistic figure who would be more likely to issue commands than have a genuine conversation. I’m happy to say that I can put those fears to rest—my number one goal is to treat my clients like family.
To me, that means fostering a collaborative environment where clients feel free to discuss their fears and goals related to planning their estate. Connecting with my clients, learning about their families, and providing a concise education on pertinent legal issues allows me to empower them to make the best possible decisions. Through this system of education and counseling, my clients and I work together to build a robust estate plan that is tailor-made to their unique situation and will provide stability to their family through whatever challenges may come.
I first realized the value of this approach while participating in a pro bono estate planning clinic where I worked with a client whose story impacted me deeply. At our first meeting, she told me that she was afraid of attorneys and that she had only come to the clinic because of the hard times she had seen other families face after a parent died without an estate plan. She told me that even though she didn’t have a lot of money, she wanted a quick and simple will to make sure that every penny she had saved would be used to ensure her son’s care after she was gone.
As I asked about her son, she opened up about the challenges he faced living with Down syndrome. She shared the fear she felt imagining him living without her support and relying only on his government benefits. When I informed my client that an outright inheritance could entirely disqualify her son from these benefit programs, I felt a sense of dread come over her. She was quickly relieved when I shared that we could use a special needs trust, which would preserve all of her son’s benefits while ensuring that every penny she had set aside would be used to further improve his circumstances. While ironing out the details of this plan, the tone of our conversation shifted from fear to hope.
It was at this moment I realized how deeply rewarding it was to assure someone that their estate planning wishes, whether grand or humble, simple or complex, truly mattered and would be realized.
Since then, I’ve made it my mission to always create a safe environment where my clients feel comfortable sharing not only their estate planning goals, but just as importantly, their fears; an environment in which my clients and I are able to tend to the important legal issues at play while making sure never to lose sight of the true purpose of the estate planning process—family.
I’m here to get to know you and your family so that I can help you jump hurdles and climb mountains. Once we have built a robust and tailor-made estate plan together, the abiding peace that you’ll find will allow you to spend less time worrying about the uncertainties of the future, and more time enjoying special moments in the present.
Elijah G. Deese was born and raised in Weddington, NC. Elijah studied Media and Journalism with a focus in Advertising at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with distinction. Because of his undergraduate achievements, he was granted a full financial scholarship to the University of Connecticut School of Law where he focused his studies on the practice of estate planning, earning CALI Excellence Awards for attaining highest marks in Contracts, Trusts and Estates, Law and Cognition, and Legal Philosophy. During his time in Connecticut, he interned at Czepiga Daly Pope and Perry in Simsbury and The Estate Planning Law Center in Hartford. After graduating cum laude from UConn Law, Elijah decided to use his passion for estate planning to help families in his home town by joining our team at Providence Wills and Trusts.