Another Embarrassing Confession From the Courtroom

Amanda Lynch Elliott

by Amanda Lynch Elliott

Amanda Lynch Elliott is a native of Pensacola and an associate attorney with My Pink Lawyer®. Amanda and her husband recently became new parents for the first time. Amanda enjoys running, yoga and paddle boarding, and has a twin sister.

We all have that one humbling moment that sticks in our brain.

 

Many of us – especially the overthinkers – have more than a few that we like to file away.

 

One of my all-time favorites occurred when I was a second year law student in Jacksonville, Florida, clerking with a real estate attorney.

 

I had just finished my third round of finals and was really getting the hang of this whole law school thing.

 

I’d taken on a bit more responsibility at work and was effectively balancing my work-school life pretty dang well.

 

My then boss had invited me to attend a hearing with him in a neighboring county and it would be my first appearance in front of a judge as an (almost) attorney.

 

I was so excited and nervous! I rehearsed my request to the judge over and over again.

 

I awoke early, picked out my suit, gave myself plenty of travel time, and felt extra confident as I entered the courthouse.

 

When the judge called our name, I stood and began to walk towards the front of the courtroom.

 

It was at this very moment that I discovered a fun little fact – apparently my feet sweat when I’m nervous.

 

For the life of me, I could not keep my damn heels from sliding off.

 

I tried the duck-walk (I know you ladies know what I’m talking about!); I tried to slow play it.

 

I tried every trick in the book except for crawling.

 

The roughly 30 feet to the podium at the front of the courtroom felt like a hundred miles.

 

And then it happened.

 

high heelMy slippery shoe flew right off of my foot for all to see - only to be deflected by the courtroom bench to my right.

 

I had to limp after it to put it back on.

 

A seemingly unimportant detail, I had given zero thought as to the functionality of my shoe choice beyond what matched my outfit.

 

In life, as in estate planning, sometimes it is the little details that (quite literally) trip us up in a big way.

 

We discover that many of our estate planning clients that come to us with an existing estate plan have a “shell” of a trust – in other words, a trust that owns nothing.

 

While the little details involved in setting up an estate plan can seem tedious – retitling assets, including bank accounts, updating beneficiaries on retirement and life insurance policies, and more. Without the requisite “funding,” a trust is little more than an expensive piece of paper.

 

At My Pink Lawyer®, we create a custom “homework” lists for our clients encompassing all of the little details that need to be addressed in order to make a plan work and to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. (Last pun, I promise.)

 

We will even work with our clients’ financial advisors to accomplish the retitling of assets if desired.

 

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When implementing an estate plan, it could be said that attention to detail in the execution of a plan is even more important than the initial setup.

 

But getting back to my unfortunate courtroom experience – I did eventually make it to the front of the courtroom and present my issue to the judge which was entered in our favor.

 

I likely did so with significantly less confidence than I entered the room with, but nonetheless I did it.

 

These days my courtroom shoe selection consists of three tried and true options.

 

Thank goodness for shoe inserts and a sense of humor.

 

Amanda “The Devil Is In The Detail” Lynch Elliott