One might not automatically assume it, but Jennifer Spitz, a name partner in Stover & Spitz, has a wry sense of humor and delivers self-deprecating one-offs with endearing ease. Spitz has practiced trusts and estates law in Longmont, Colorado, since 1998, and she’s heavily involved in the Colorado Bar Association’s trusts and estates section. “It helps to be really detail oriented,” Spitz says of her professional success. “I spend a lot of time with minutiae.”
Spitz’s work tends to focus on helping individual clients figure out how to plan for leaving their assets behind and choose whom they would like to make decisions on their behalf when they are unable to do so themselves. Much as it helps to be a specialist in this area, Spitz says, it is crucial as well to be a people person who is good at understanding the needs of clients and translating them into legal terms.
“Sometimes clients don’t know much about the law, and they just describe what they want to happen. We have to make that work in a legal framework and describe the law and describe issues to them in a way that’s understandable and not overly lawyerly,” says Spitz, adding: “It’s hard because estate planning doesn’t necessarily get wrapped up in the short-term. After someone puts a will in place, they might be around for a long time, so it would really help to have a crystal ball. But if you don’t have a crystal ball, it is easier if you at least have some certainty with the law.”
Through her involvement with the Colorado State Bar, Spitz gets the next best thing to certainty. By close association with state lawmakers, Spitz and her colleagues in the trusts and estates section often preview and suggest changes to the state trusts and estates laws that they work with daily. “If we’re not coming up with the idea, we’re at least looking at it,” Spitz says. “It is really helpful to be involved and see these projects coming down the road before they become law. And there constantly seem to be projects.”