Ralph J. Code III
Partner, Boylan Code LLP
Years in current role: 48
What has been your biggest success over the past year?
Having practiced exclusively in Trusts and Estates for 50 years, I have accumulated a great deal of knowledge and experience. I love practicing law in this area and especially enjoy working with my clients so I do not plan on giving that up, but I do know the importance of transitioning a practice after these many years to younger attorneys who can help meet the needs of my valued clients. If I were to identify any success that I have had over the past year it has been in working with the younger attorneys in my department to pass on the knowledge and experience that I have hopefully retained and to introduce them to my clients for what I anticipate will be a smooth transition over the next few years.
What advice would you give someone starting a trusts and estates practice right now?
The practice has significantly changed since I started. Except for high net worth clients, tax planning is not as relevant. In estate administration, fees are less for many reasons. To succeed in this practice area today you need to add value to your relationship with your clients. Preparing a one-off Will may not be sufficient. In preparing a Will, however, you have an opportunity, for example, to make recommendations as to how to preserve assets in the face of long-term care costs. Take advantage of that. Become your client’s “Trusted Advisor” which will involve you with their other activities and needs. Get to know your clients and work hard to stay connected with them.
What is one personal goal you have for the next year?
Our four grandchildren range in ages from 5 to 24. They are all doing different things in different parts of the country. Mine and my wife Barb’s goal is to see them as much as possible and to enjoy their successes and adventures with them.