We are dedicated to providing your family and your business with sound legal guidance and support. We specialize in estate planning, business law and franchise law.
Our Estate Plans Help You Prepare for Life
While most people know the importance of having a well-rounded estate plan, it is typically considered useful only after they have passed. This is understandable because the traditional estate planning model was designed to serve those nearing the end of life. But there are many ways in which a comprehensive estate plan can have a positive impact during your life. Our Life and Legacy Plans focus on serving the needs of growing families and those in transition. We know that you are busy and don't want to be overwhelmed with legalities, but you want to ensure your family's security. We help you pass on your legacy, which encompasses more than just your financial assets, but also your values, insights, stories, and wisdom. Our Life and Legacy Planning is designed to support you.
Do you know that an estate plan already exists for you? Unless you design your own plan, the state you live in has a default plan that will determine how everything you own will be distributed - from your car to your home to bank and investment accounts.
From potential temporary or permanent foster care for your children to courtroom battles over who should raise your children, to estate/transfer taxes, frozen assets and blocked accounts for minors, no one would voluntarily choose the state plan for their loved ones. Don't let the state decide such critical decisions for you. You want to give what you want, how you want and to whom you want.
Kids Protection Plan
As a mother of two minor children, I know how important it is to protect your family. We plan for your family as we do for our own.
Many parents have considered who they would designate as a long-term guardian for their children in the event of death. Some have even memorialized formal guardianship contingencies in estate planning documents. Others have thought about it but haven't documented it for a variety of reasons, including the parents are not in agreement or are paralyzed by fear and indecision. We have a 4-step guardian selection process to walk you through this critical decision and a Life and Legacy Interview that helps you capture the necessary guidance and instructions that you would want followed. These issues may include: religious/moral instruction and education guidance as well as your own specific priorities for your child's well-being such as whether you would want to emphasize athletics or art or altruistic endeavors.
Let us help your family create a plan that protects your assets and loved ones exactly the way you want. Estate planning is not just for a certain group of people - it's for everyone!
Your Business Deserves a Solid Legal Foundation
You want to remain focused on growing your business and serving your customers, not getting mired in reacting to legal issues that are costing you valuable time and money. Your business deserves a trusted legal advisor and problem solver who proactively identifies missed opportunities, spots potential risks and creates plans to mitigate liability and leverage opportunities. Your lawyer needs to explain issues in plain English (and not in lawyer-speak) to help you avoid legal, insurance, financial and tax mistakes. We get it! Further, we have extensive franchise law experience for emerging/established franchisors and franchisees.
We partner with businesses as a trusted advisor to help business owners design, implement and maintain effective business plans that balance legal, insurance, tax and financial strategies that can be clearly understood and executed through our Outside Counsel Packages. We help entrepreneurs address legal needs such as:
Starting a Business and Corporate Formation
Non-Compete Agreements; Non-Solicitation Agreements; Non-Disclosure Agreements
Employment/Independent Contractor Agreements
Business Succession Plans
Buying a franchise
Starting a franchise concept
Asset and creditor protection
Mendham NJ 07945
All Estate Planning Packages are fixed fee. Most business services are offered on a fixed fee basis.
For small businesses, we offer outside counsel packages that ensure you are protected and that you have access to the legal guidance you need when you need it within a consistent and manageable budget. We also have a specialty in franchise law.
Legal, Insurance, Financial and Tax Issues
Too often businesses only seek legal guidance AFTER they have a problem or dispute. We want to empower you to take control of any potential legal issues proactively - BEFORE problems or disputes manifest.
Whether you are interested in starting a business, already have a business or are thinking about an exit strategy and need to create a succession plan, every business needs a solid foundation of legal, insurance, financial and tax (LIFT) issues. To help you gauge what exact needs you may have, we start all corporate engagements with a LIFT Planning Session that reviews the status (and your comfort level) with each of these issues. We then create a tangible action list that prioritizes any outstanding concerns.
We also can help with employment matters for employers and employees - employment agreements, employee handbooks and policies, non-compete provision, severance agreements, and dispute resolution for other grievances.
Whether you need to incorporate a legal entity, desire to create or strengthen your brand with intellectual property protections (i.e, trademarks/copyrights), need contracts for customers, vendors or employees or any of the other myriad of legal issues attendant to establishing or running a successful and legally protected business, we are a full service firm to meet the needs of your business.
And if we don't handle a specific type of matter directly, we have a network of trusted attorneys to whom we can refer you to address everything from commercial litigation, bankruptcy and creditor rights, personal injury, and wage and hour and other employment litigation.
Outside Counsel Packages
As a business owner, you know you need legal guidance but can't afford to hire an in-house lawyer. Nor do you want to pay exorbitant hourly fees. We have a solution for you. We partner with businesses as a trusted advisor to help you design, implement and maintain an effective plan for your business that balances legal, insurance, tax and financial strategies that can be clearly understood and executed through our Outside Counsel Packages. We help entrepreneurs manage their legal needs so they can focus on what they do best - strengthening their brand and growing their business.
For the Franchisor:
Do you have an innovative and creative concept that you are looking to franchise? Or are you a franchise industry veteran looking for a different type of lawyer? We can help!
For the Emerging/Established Franchisor: Venturing into a new industry or business endeavor is always exciting, but franchising is a highly-regulated industry that requires sound legal guidance. With over 15 years of in-house franchise law experience, we can provide you all the legal guidance you need to begin your new franchise system. We can create all necessary documents you need such as:
Area Representative Agreement
Area Developer Agreement
Federal Disclosure Document with all appropriate exhibits
Legal Review of Operations Manual
Further, we can properly navigate the main franchisor legal risks including vicarious liability, joint-employer/independent contractor issues, advertising law, and maintain the integrity of your intellectual property. We can create your legal infrastructure to ensure that you are compliant with state franchise relationship laws, including implementing franchise sales and default/termination protocols and correspondence.
Franchisees: Do You Want To Buy Into a Franchise System?
Are interested in purchasing from an existing franchise model or an existing operation already in business?
For the Emerging/Established Franchisee: If you are looking to purchase a franchise and are overwhelmed with the amount of documents you were provided to review or an existing franchisee seeking guidance on how to maximize your business through growth or trying to navigate a franchise legal issue with your franchisor, we can assist.
We help protect families and assets through the use of Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and Kids Protection Plans.
Legal Life and Family Planning
We know that many families delay their estate planning process and we understand why. It is daunting to have to think about and confront personal, private issues, such as mortality, money, illnesses, secrets and family estrangements. Very often people are anxious or insecure about making the wrong decision. Yet addressing these challenges is one of the most meaningful and considerate acts of respect and love you can do for your family. This is why we call ourselves Conscious Counsel - we provide legal counseling about estate planning strategies while helping to assuage the associated trepidation that you may feel during this process. It is imperative that you and your family get the attention and hand-holding you need.
Every family has unique circumstances. Whether you have a blended or non-traditional family or have family members that are estranged, with special needs or struggling with addiction, a customized legal life plan designed specifically to suit your family's unique's needs can navigate these circumstances to your exact preferences bringing you and your family protection, security and peace of mind.
A comprehensive legal life plan should include the following documents:
Will or Trust
Durable Financial Power of Attorney
Guardianship Documentation, for minor children
Communication to Heirs/Beneficiaries/Guardians
In addition to financial wealth, our Life and Legacy Planning also encompasses crafting an Ethical Will for your far more valuable intellectual, spiritual and human assets â who you are and what you care about, including your values, insights, stories and wisdom.
A Different Legal Service from a Different Kind of Lawyer
We're not your regular law practice. We believe in connected and personalized service for each and every client. Our approach is first and foremost about education - giving you the information you need to make the important and necessary decisions for your family and your business. We then collaborate and design a legal life or business plan that best suits your needs.
Kelly began her legal career 20 years ago as a commercial litigator and then served as General Counsel for small businesses and then within a business unit for a Fortune 500 company specializing in franchise law. Not only does she have extensive corporate experience, she prides herself on being businesss savvy and becoming a valuable and trusted advisor to her business clients.
She is also a certified life coach coach, a theologian and interfaith minister who brings a holistic approach to legal guidance. As our business name indicates, we emphasize the legal counseling function.
Bar Number: 81307
Bar Number: 025441997
Seton Hall University - Schoold of Law
Juris Doctorate, 1997
Drew University - Theological School
Master of Theological Studies, 2008
Bachelor of Arts, 1993
* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.