Golden Isles Moms: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and how you got here to the Golden Isles.
Puja Jabbour: Originally from the Atlanta area, my husband and I wanted to slow down from city life and find a work/life balance to nurture and support our children through their formative years. Given the challenges of life today, not to mention the pandemic, we decided to buy a house on the north end of the island about a year ago and have been thrilled to be here ever since. We have found island life and our neighbors to be very welcoming!
GIM: What made you start practicing law? Was it something you always knew you wanted to do?
PJ: Law is actually a second career for me. After college, I worked in tech for a few years before deciding to go to law school. I wanted a career where I felt like I could connect with people and make a real difference in their lives. As a lawyer now, I love the one-on-one interactions I get to have with clients and helping them find peace of mind.
GIM: What type of services does your practice offer and why are they so important?
PJ: We are a boutique estate planning practice that offers estate planning, as well as business formation and business succession planning services. We focus on everything a person needs to protect themselves, their business, and their assets. As we’ve seen over the past two years, life doesn’t always go as planned. But when you’re well protected, you can sleep easy at night knowing that whatever curveball life throws at you, you’re prepared.
GIM: What are some things families should look for in researching a law firm to assist with estate planning?
PJ: I always tell people that they need to trust that the lawyer they are working with understands their needs and concerns, whether it’s in estate planning or in any other area of law. I’ve seen too many lawyers who are only focused on their hourly rate and meeting billing goals. We are a flat fee firm, which means whether we spend two hours with you or twenty, your bill is the same. This helps us focus on what’s important – meeting our clients’ goals and tailoring customized plans to fit their needs.
GIM: When do you think is the best time to devise a will and estate plan?
PJ: Now! Believe it or not, only about 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. actually has a will. That’s incredible, especially when you think about how protective we are of our families. In the era of helicopter parents, we are failing as adults to ensure that are families will be adequately protected in the event something happens to us. I work with a lot of younger families who tell me they were initially intimidated by the estate planning process. They thought they’d waste a whole day sitting in a lawyer’s office talking about unimaginable scenarios they didn’t want to think about it. But after actually going through the process and seeing how easy and painless it was, they all regretted not doing it sooner.
GIM: What are some things clients should have together prior to coming in to meet with you?
PJ: If they already have an existing will or estate plan, I ask them to provide those documents prior to our meeting. However, if this a new process for a client, I just ask that they come in with an open mind and the willingness to do some homework. I have workbooks that help clients figure out what assets they have (even the ones they forgot about!) and how they want those assets handled after they pass. It’s much less painless than people think!
GIM: What is one piece of advice you would give all your clients?
PJ: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. As the pandemic has shown us, life can change in a blink of an eye. There’s no greater gift we can provide our families than the peace of mind knowing that they’ll be taken care of even when we can no longer be with them.
GIM: Anything else you’d like to share?
PJ: I am so thankful to be part of this wonderful community! I have already met so many beautiful families and am looking forward to getting to know more of you!