Q: What is your name and what do you do?
A: My name is Debra M Olsen and I’m an attorney practicing in the field of trusts and estates.
Q: When you were a kid, that’s what you wanted to be, huh?
A: Not at all. In fact I didn’t even decid to go to law school just until senior year of college. I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher and was majoring in history and econ in college. I wanted to be an educator, not a lawyer. Life has a funny way of changing things.
Q: What is the name of your company and how long have you been doing trusts and estate law?
A: The Law Offices of Debra M Olsen. I have been doing trusts and estates for my entire career, nearly 33 years now. I have had my own firm since July of 1992. Prior to that I was doing a lot of tax law.
Q: What does an estate and trust attorney do, exactly?
A: A lot of things. Mainly in my practice I help people make the right decision with how they want do dispose of there assets after death. I also help families after death so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Sometimes it can be to much for the afflicted family.
Q: Who is your ideal client and why?
A: Would be one who asks a lot of questions and takes the time making the estate documents there own. It makes it easier on me if the client has an idea of what they want to accomplish at the end.
Q: Paint me a picture of what a day in your shoes typically goes like…
A: I don’t really have a typical day. Days usually involve drafting estate planning documents, or preparing court documents for the transition of an administration of a trust or estate, handling phone calls, addressing questions via email or other correspondence. What I really like about what I do is that everyday is slightly different, and I get the opportunity to help people.
Q: What do you love about your industry/niche?
A: People are friendly and there is a sense of camaraderie, there is competition but others do share ideas. We as an industry help each other.
Q: Any rewards, certifications, etc that you would like to brag about?
A: I have been a practicing attorney for over 33 years. I’m also a substitute teacher, and I have an LLM in tax from the University of Florida.
Q: Have you always been located in Long Beach?
A: No, originally I was in Newport Beach for about 15 years. I then moved to the city of Orange for about 13 years, and then moved to Long Beach to be closer to home.
Q: If you could give someone relatively new to your industry/niche any advice or tips, what would that be?
A: Be selective of your clients and go with your gut. If something bothers you about a case or a client do not go forward. Have some respect for yourself, it is a hard job, so don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake.
Q: Before we end our interview, is there anything that you would like to add that we missed?
A: As an attorney you have to gain a person’s trust, he or she has to be comfortable sharing personal information with you. Despite the bad reputation and worse jokes, being an attorney is rewarding and gives me the opportunity to educate my clients about the law of trusts and estates. Also help people cope during a stressful and difficult time.
Being an attorney gives me the opportunity to do both things that I love, being an educator and helping people.
Trust and Estate Attorney Meme: