Sharon is a beloved member of the firm whose clients rely on her expertise in estate planning, wills, trusts & probate, as well as her in-depth knowledge for asset protection planning and philanthropic planning. We're glad to have the opportunity to sit down with Sharon to find out a bit more about what makes her tick.
FJ: So Sharon, thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I am always curious about this question with lawyers - what influenced you in making the decision to become a lawyer? Have you always planned to pursue law as a career?
SS: I decided this career path in a round about way. In middle school I thought it would be cool to be an FBI agent - yes, all 4’10” of me! Research in this career told me I would need an accounting degree or a law degree, and law sounded more interesting. In time I decided law would be fun on its own without the need to pursue bad guys.
FJ: How did you make your way to Fulton Jeang?
SS: After working as an executive that headed up planned giving for nonprofit organizations for 6 years, I realized that I missed practicing law. I found a firm that allowed me to build up a new practice on my terms. I love my partners, Fulton Jeang was the right choice for me.
FJ: And we're so glad you are part of our team! Please tell us some of your career highlights or recent “wins.”
SS: I have had exciting “wins” over the years - my favorite being settling a client's dispute with the IRS in which Service claimed a significant deficiency being owed by the client. I was able to settle the dispute for about 1% of the alleged deficiency. But, without a doubt what stands out to me are the relationships with clients that develop over time. Estate planning is a very personal practice- you get to know the families you represent. Over the years, clients return and I meet the next generation of the families I work with. Being a trusted advisor is an honor that I treasure.
FJ: Why does the Fulton Jeang’s virtual business model suit your practice and lifestyle?
SS: I love the flexibility it offers. As the world discovered during Covid, working from home is comfortable and saves travel time without diminishing the quality of the work we do. Fulton Jeang attorneys are extraordinary lawyers. I love being able to call on my colleagues when needed and to send business that I am not equipped to handle to just the right attorneys. Our firm provides superior service to our clients.
FJ: What are your sweet spots for client/legal issues you love to work on?
SS: I love a complicated estate planning challenge that allows my clients to avoid or reduce estate transfer taxes. Still, over the years I have come to realize that tax issues are not always the primary challenge. Assisting clients in finding creative ways to transfer wealth in a manner that benefits their heirs but does not cripple the overall growth of the beneficiary. It is rewarding when a client comes in with a difficult fact situation and leaves comforted that they have done the best for their loved ones.
FJ: What can the firm do to help you reach your goals for the next year?
SS: Keep doing what you have been doing! Think of me when you have a referral and continue to assist my clients when needed.
FJ: Absolutely! We feel so honored that you are part of our firm and we can whole-heartedly support what you need for your practice. Finally, what do you do for fun?
SS: I love to travel, hike, dance, cook, garden, and spend time with great friends.
FJ: Thank you Sharon for your time.
Sharon's bio is at About Sharon Seal | Fulton Jeang PLLC