S4E2: Estate Planning with Heart with Patricia De Fonte

My guest today is Patricia De Fonte, founder of De Fonte Law based in San Francisco. Patricia practices estate planning with heart and is focused on working with happy, proactive people who want to protect their heir’s privacy. Through her estate planning process, her goal is to give her clients the tools they need to become savvy and successful people.

However, what’s unique about De Fonte Law is how they develop values-driven estate plans that empower heirs and preserve family harmony. In addition, they work with all members of the community, operating from the belief that estate planning is for everyone.

Moreover, Patricia has been recognized as a San Francisco Super Lawyer due to her dedication to estate planning and her clients. Additionally, she recently won the 2021 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also a graduate of Golden State University, where she adopted social justice as a core value.

In this episode, Patricia and I discuss a variety of estate planning topics, including:

  • Why everyone needs an estate plan.
  • Why an estate plan is more than a will.
  • The importance of choosing an estate planning attorney you trust and how to find an attorney whose values are aligned with yours.
  • Patricia’s estate planning with heart process and how she works with her clients to create a personalized estate plan that reflects their values and preserves family harmony.
  • Finally, some of the common misconceptions many people have when it comes to hiring an estate planning attorney.

Indeed, Patricia offers several nuggets of wisdom during this episode, and I think you’ll benefit from hearing her take on estate planning. Lastly, be sure to check the show notes for more information and resources related to this episode.

With that, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Patricia De Fonte as much as I did.

Episode Highlights

  • [04:30] Patricia De Fonte explains what an estate plan is in plain English and what documents a comprehensive estate plan typically includes.
  • [11:32] What Patricia De Fonte recommends using to direct your assets instead of a will.
  • [20:36] The importance of choosing an executor or trustee you can trust to manage the distribution of your estate according to your wishes.
  • [32:44] How to find an estate planning attorney you can trust and who is well suited to your needs and objectives.
  • [40:11] Cathy and Patricia discuss some of the most common mistakes people make with their estate planning documents.
  • [45:28] Patricia De Fonte shares some of the biggest misconceptions people have about estate planning based on her experience.
  • [54:42] What to do if you don’t know who to appoint as executor of your estate.
  • [1:05:06] Patricia shares additional questions you should ask any estate planning attorney you’re considering engaging.

Links Relevant to this Episode

De Fonte Law’s Website

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