Bill O’Leary, Esq., Attorney at Law
As an estate and elder planning attorney, Bill is passionate about making the planning process easy, comfortable and understandable. He has dedicated his legal career to helping families achieve the peace and calm that comes with planning well, finishing the race strong, and leaving a lasting legacy built on family harmony.
Bill has personal experience that good planning works. His parents saw the wisdom of good advanced planning and set up their estate years long ago the way they wanted. When his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, their advanced planning served her well because everything was already set in place in a way that would lighten the burden on the family and encourage unity among the children. Bill’s father didn’t need to worry about how to pay for long-term care because they had planned ahead. Instead, he was able to focus on providing care and companionship. The wise planning done by Bill’s parents years earlier eliminated a lot of the stress and anxiety. Bill has seen first-hand the many benefits of good planning and he wants to deliver that peace of mind to others.
Bill guides clients through a process that many find daunting and unfamiliar. Planning for death and disability often is ignored and, sadly in far too many situations, it is never done because people find the process mysterious, intimidating and overwhelming. Bill identifies a client’s concerns and journeys with them through the process. Just as he wants to be guided and treated in unfamiliar situations, Bill makes sure that his clients understand what is going on as they develop a plan that embodies their unique wishes and desires.
As Bill has moved along the continuum of life and increasingly embraced the long view, he has come to appreciate the importance of legacy and family harmony. Bill’s clients are no different. Bill helps clients implement their own personalized plan that reflects what is important to them. A good estate and elder plan is so much more than deciding who gets what; it is a legacy planning tool where family values and traditions are handed down to the next generation and the family treasure isn’t lost to the devastating cost of long-term care. A well thought-out plan promotes family harmony. A good plan also makes sure the family is taken care of when the client can’t do so anymore. It is most gratifying to see clients achieve peace of mind knowing their family is safe and protected and their family story is preserved. Bill very much believes in the firm motto, “We Take Care of Your Family When You Can’t Anymore.”
Good estate and elder planning is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ proposition. No two families are alike. Each plan is customized to the client’s unique needs. Each client is given personal attention. Communication is clear and in plain English. Once Bill learns a client’s specific goals and desires, he sets out options and makes recommendations that are simple and understandable. Phone calls are returned promptly and top-quality legal documents are delivered on a timely basis.
But Bill is not in the business of generating legal forms. It is about so much more. It is about giving advice and counsel, something an Internet form does not provide. Bill strives to deliver a
client experience that is meaningful and memorable, one that the client will not be able to keep a secret but will be excited to share with family and friends.
The bottom line is that Bill treats clients with dignity, professionalism and respect, which is the same way he wants to be treated when he finds himself in new or unfamiliar situations.
Estate planning is not a one-time transaction. It is a lifelong process that adapts as a client’s family dynamics change. Bill aspires to have his clients see him as their trusted advisor for life, walking with them every step of the way.
Bill has been married to his bride and the love of his life, Joan, for 31 years. Bill and Joan have two wonderful adult children, Caroline and Will. Caroline married another Irishman, John McKinney. While Bill likes to joke around with John, he couldn’t be a better son-in-law. Will is in his last year of law school at the University of Florida law school. Bill and Joan are tremendously proud of Caroline and Will.
Bill and Joan attend St. Joseph’s Catholic Church where they are active in several ministries. Bill and Joan enjoy traveling and spending time with Caroline and Will. Bill also has a bit of an unusual hobby, he umpires high school baseball. It serves as a great release from the office. As Bill likes to say, “It’s the best seat in the house!”
· Georgetown University, B.A. (1984)
· Temple University School of Law, J.D. (1988)
· University of Florida College of Law, Graduate Tax Program, LL.M (Taxation) (2012)
· Florida Bar (Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section; Elder Law Section; Tax Law Section)
· Financial Planning Association of Northeast Florida, Current President and member of the Board of Directors
· NAIFA of Northeast Florida, member of the Board of Directors
· Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, member of the Board of Directors
· Planned Giving Council of Northeast Florida
· Estate Planning Council of Northeast Florida