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A Better Partnership


Jul 2019
July 10, 2019

Attorney Spotlight: Sara Nicholson

What kind of law do you practice and what do you enjoy about it?
I practice in the Trusts and Estates group, doing tax and estate planning, and estate administration work. I love helping families find a way to work together. Trusts and Estates is one of the few areas of the law that is truly constructive – it gives families peace of mind to know that they have a structure in place to guide their survivors into the future, be it the family ethos or the family business or the family cottage. My clients often tell me they feel a weight lifted off their shoulders after we complete or revise their plan or when we have devised a strategy to meet their goals. It's a great feeling to help with that.
Tell us about your background and why you decided to become an attorney.
I have always loved language and writing. I was an English major with a French minor, so communicating has always been important to me. Working in a field where I get to communicate with clients – on why I am recommending a particular estate plan or a step in an estate administration – is so fulfilling for me. I understand that I live and breathe this trusts and estates world every day, and I know it inside and out. Often my clients don't, and my role is to translate that "estate-plan-speak" to those who don't speak that language, much as I do when speaking French. Devising the plan is only half of my job – the other half is communicating that plan to the client and making sure that they understand and are comfortable with it, and that it meets their goals. I want to ensure that all that they have built up over their lifetime is taken care of the way that they would like after their death.
Why do you enjoy working for Warner Norcross + Judd?
I joined Warner last summer and found that the Trusts and Estates group and the Kalamazoo office both have great synergy. I can really see myself growing with the Kalamazoo office, and the trusts and estates group is fantastic – such a deep bench to draw experiences and expertise from, and a wonderful group of people. The focus at Warner is truly on the client and obtaining the best and right result for the client, and that's what drives me to come in every day and do my best.
What do you think people would be surprised to learn about you?
I have twins who are four years old and an almost six-year-old kindergartener. They amaze me every day (for better or for worse) and keep me going!
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love French – speaking and reading French and spending time in France. I've lived there three different times. In Kalamazoo, I participate in the Alliance Française to keep up my language skills. Thanks to my new officemates, I have also become addicted to Orangetheory fitness classes, and I often see folks from the Warner office at the Orangetheory studio.

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