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Kimberly Johnson and Kimberley Dillon Share What It Takes to Be Successful Trust and Estate Attorney in Business Observer Article

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The Quarles & Brady Naples, Fla., team has grown its Estate, Trust & Wealth Preservation revenue 40% over the past five years. In a Business Observer article, Kimberly Johnson and Kimberley Dillon, both Naples-based partners, discussed the key factors that have driven that success and what it will take to build upon that momentum in the future.

Johnson and Dillon cited many variables that have contributed to the growth in Naples, including the ongoing influx to the Naples area of people needing wealth management guidance, the team’s ability to call on the resources of a national multi-practice firm and its ability to anticipate the impact of changing tax laws.

But most important may be the group’s focus on building a team of people who have the rare combination of skills that is the foundation for a successful trust and estate attorney. They explained further in an excerpt from the article:

It takes a certain kind of skill set for an attorney to be successful at estate and trust planning. It’s a complicated, highly technical area of practice that also requires significant people skills.

“You have to have empathy for the clients,” says Kimberly Johnson, a partner at the Naples office of Quarles & Brady LLP. “But you also have to have the ability to break down complicated tax issues to deliver it in a way that they understand, so that they can make choices about what they want to do for their lasting legacy and their family.”

Johnson’s colleague, Kimberley Dillon, 43, chairwoman of the firm’s estate, trust and wealth preservation group, cites “the ability to connect with clients” as a crucial skill.

“Even in the beginning planning stages, they need to develop a relationship with you, because you’re asking a lot of intimate details about family and finances and things that they don’t necessarily share with many people.”

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