Practicing law for over 20 years, I am occasionally asked why I entered the world of legacy and estate planning.  While numerous reasons drew me into the field, the overriding reason was and continues to be my heartbreak over what happens to families and children when advance plans are not put in place for potential crisis and for passing property on to family members when a matriarch or patriarch passes away.  The absence of planning can disrupt, devastate, and displace families and children; can cause grave emotional, psychological, and financial instability; and can impede opportunities to preserve and generationally pass on the building blocks for perpetuating legacy and transferring wealth within a family.  

For many reasons, historically and contemporarily, African Americans have been under-served and under-represented in not just owning property but extending that ownership from one generation to the next.  This has adversely impacted many of our families and communities of color.  I was drawn into legacy and estate planning out of a calling to help those of us, who are under-served and under-represented, understand legacy through the lens of ownership.  Whether a home, financial accounts, a business, or forms of creativity, ownership and its benefits, if not planned for, can end due to crisis or because an owner is no longer here, which often results in unintended consequences.      

I do the work of legacy and estate planning so that I can help families experience stability, security, peace, clarity, and cohesion, particularly when crisis and other inevitabilities happen.  I do this work so that I can inform and advise parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, and so on, of sound, practical ways to legally pass property ownership on to loved ones in helping them form and execute the necessary plans to protect and preserve that ownership for their benefit and for the benefit of the ones they love.  Legacy happens whether we plan for it or not, but too much is at stake when we do not intentionally plan for the legacies we wish to share and leave with those near and dear to us.  To the extent that I can help families and communities experience the peace, depth, and continuity that come from intentionally planning and executing their legacies, I am here and honored to do the work. 

To maximize my ability and capacity to help, serve, and share, I am the Owner/Managing Principal of Katrina Patterson Law, PLLC, a Legacy & Estate Planning Firm.  Holder of a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies from York College, CUNY; an MBA in Management & Leadership from Dowling College; and a Juris Doctorate from New York Law School.  With faith, conviction, and the unrelenting love and support of my husband, Rod of over 32 years, and our two adult children, Ericka and Shane, I am driven by my value for family—all of our families– and am thankful to help families plan the legacies they envision and wish to achieve.

Katrina Patterson, Esq.