Navigating Life’s Legal Transitions
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A Foreward by Ora Schwartzberg as featured in Stan Miller’s Your American Legacy
I heard Stan speak at a WealthCounsel Symposium in Boston, in August of 2019. I had participated in other Symposium sessions and was quite satisfied with the subject matter content that earlier speakers were able to provide.
Then there was Stan!…… I walked out of his presentation completely mesmerized. This was one of those times in my life that I was astonished by the importance of a “calling” that I wanted to pursue. I sat in the lobby of the hotel where the Symposium was given unable to think about anything else. I spent the afternoon talking to my husband about how we could incorporate some of the concepts Stan discussed into my legal practice.
Several weeks after the Symposium, I began giving some thought to the legacy that my parents had provided me. My father was an attorney in Philadelphia when I was growing up. Many times, during my childhood, teenage years and college he told me that he would like me to become an attorney.
I never took his request seriously. When I was in college, it was almost unheard of for a woman to be an attorney, or so I thought. I graduated from college with a teaching degree and chose to teach in an all-black inter-city high school. This was 1969, the heart of the civil rights movement, one of those times in my life where I was astonished by the importance of a “calling” that I was very determined to pursue.
My father died in 1980. By then I had three children, the youngest of which was only two weeks old. As I stared at my newborn lying on a blanket on the floor, I spoke to a stranger at a party, who asked me, if you could do anything, what would it be? Without hesitation, I replied I wanted to be a lawyer.
My father had left me some money, in trust, that was enough to pay for three years of law school. The closest law school to my home in upstate New York was 3 ½ hour drive. I was determined enough to get up at 4am on some cold snowy mornings to make the trip to Vermont Law School. At that time, I could not articulate why I wanted to be a lawyer. I did not even know what a lawyer did. It took time, experience and maturity to acknowledge my father’s legacy.
This was not the only legacy my parents provided. They also showed me what a loving marriage looked like and how they also valued their children and family, above all else. I had a brother who died age 7 from leukemia. Although this loss was devastating to all of us, I as an only child became the focus of their lives.
Now back to the question, why the concepts set forth in Stan’s “Your American Legacy” are of importance to me now. It is because I wish to share with my clients a “calling” in which I am personally involved…..that is to pass on a legacy to our “collective” children and grandchildren.
Stan has developed an incredible process with which to pass down to our children and grandchildren our cherished values and traditions, including the core beliefs and traditions that have allowed this country to flourish.
Our firm, Legacy Strategies, PLLC has been formed for the purpose of effectuating the concepts of Stan’s book, with the goal of making the world a better place…..”one family at a time.”
Ora Schwartzberg, Esq.
Plymouth, New Hampshire