We recently connected with Jeff Althaus and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Jeff thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. One deeply underappreciated facet of entrepreneurship is the kind of crazy stuff we have to deal with as business owners. Sometimes it’s crazy positive sometimes it’s crazy negative, but crazy experiences unite entrepreneurs regardless of industry. Can you share a crazy story with our readers?
This may not be the craziest thing that ever happened at our law firm, but it was a very unpredictable series of events that led to an amazing result.
Unfortunately, law firms are notorious for only caring about the dollar value behind their clients. Attorneys will “do the job” and then move on to the next person. Not only is that not our culture at our firm, but we have a mission of changing how law firms across the nation behave. We are doing this by doing our best to change people’s lives for the better each and every day. I say this as an introduction so you have a better understanding of how the facts below play out.
Our interesting story has a sad beginning. Through a service organization, The Knights of Columbus, I was introduced to a man that had just lost his father. We’ll call this man “Steve” for the purposes of our tale here. Steve had lived with his dad for many years, helping out as his father aged. One day, he came home and found that his father had ended his own life. I will spare you the agonizing details, but Steve saw everything.
Almost immediately, family that had not been involved in Dad’s life showed up and started cleaning out the house to get it ready to sell. Since Steve was not on title and the home was not left to him in any sort of estate plan, Steve was being evicted from his home with no place to go. The family came in and sold almost everything, leaving Steve with nothing. He was now homeless and with almost no possessions at all.
Steve began sleeping in his truck that he parked outside of work. He was showering in the bathroom at the office and pretty much working all the time. When I heard this story, our firm offered to take the case on for free. We represented him in his father’s probate case. Throughout the many months that followed, we were able to get Steve some of his possessions back and a large chunk of the inheritance he was due. We then went further to get him setup with a financial advisor and accountant in order to help him decide the best route for his money. In the end, we were able to help him back on his feet, get him an apartment, and get his life back on track.
Steve is no longer homeless. He has a place to lay his head at night and to take a shower. The stress of not knowing where he was going to stay is gone, and he has a place to call home. It is people like Steve that need people’s love and caring. It’s people like Steve that keep me going and make me love my job.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
My name is Jeff Althaus, and I help people protect their families and their stuff. As an estate planning attorney, I get your things where you want them to go, when you want them to go there. Our law firm does this with all sorts of documents, like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.
Unfortunately, very few people understand the importance of having an estate plan. Many think they don’t have enough of an “estate” to worry about it or that they aren’t old enough. The thing is, the very sad story we discuss in this article could have been completely prevented with a proper plan. The truth of the matter is, everyone needs a plan, no matter how big or small. This is especially true for people with children as that is the most important estate of all.
We are different from other law firms because we say we care and we mean it. We walk the walk. This is shown through our many awards, over 150 5-star reviews, and other accolades our team has earned. I love working with this amazing group of individuals!
I have also written the book on estate planning. It’s called You Only Die Once, and it breaks down everything you need to know about all the documents involved in planning in words people can actually understand!
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
A big lesson I have had to unlearn is in regard to trying to make everyone happy. Trying to make everyone happy led me to oversell things and then have to backtrack when those results could not be met. I was very eager to meet everyone’s needs, even if it was impossible under the law.
What I have realized is that setting expectations about what the law actually says is truly important. Even if we can get much better results than people expect, setting the expectations up front that those results may not happen is a critical part of the job.
When everyone has clear expectations of what is to be done, everyone can get on board and help to achieve better results than anyone thought possible.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
I think Covid-19 has been a very interesting time for any business owner. As a law firm, we were forced to shut our doors in the beginning of the pandemic. However, shortly after that happened new laws were released allowing law firms to open up for business again under strict regulations.
We were able to not only support our many clients who were very scared and had all kinds of questions, but help new individuals setup their own estate plans. We were also able to grow through the pandemic. We have hired new people, expanded our office locations, and are looking to open new locations through the Denver area very soon.
- Website: www.althauslaw.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/althauslaw/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/althauslaw
- Linkedin: Linkedin.com/althauslaw
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7q46D39LZJ_UaNsoDEcshQ
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