Since 1983, I have been in the private practice of law with three law firms in Hampton Roads, namely, Kaufman and Canoles, Mays and Valentine and TrustBuilders Law Group. Initially, my law practice focused on business, real estate, and corporate law with an emphasis on transactional work.
A turning point for me came with the sudden death of my mother at the young age of 58. I realized that I had never had a conversation with my mother regarding her final wishes. As a result, I was ill prepared to handle the medical, burial and financial decisions that needed to be made, all while grieving a devastating loss. The crucial importance of having these essential conversations with loved ones became quite clear.
Within two months of my mother's death, my aunt was diagnosed with cancer. I initiated conversations with my aunt regarding her wishes with respect to medical, legal, financial matters, and burial in the event of her death. As difficult as those conversations were, designing an estate plan that reflected her wishes, made a world of difference, giving her a sense of peace in her final months of life. It also gave our family clear instructions upon her passing. These experiences and my search for making a meaningful contribution with my life led to me to the path of Estate Planning and Administration.
In 2014, I opened my own law firm, Deborah E. Stadlin, PLC, in Norfolk, Virginia, which I have operated for the past eight years. It is with pleasure that I am joining the Karen Robins Carnegie, PLC, law firm as Of Counsel Attorney. I will continue to service my existing clients and assist with preparation of comprehensive estate plan documents.
In addition to the legal knowledge required to help others plan for death and disability, my financial background as a CPA, creativity as an artist, and sense of deep commitment to serving others, all enhance the services being offered. Guiding my clients through the process of planning for death and/or disability occurs in a holistic manner, by having meaningful conversations to determine values and establishing a plan that accurately reflects the client's wishes, thus bringing peace of mind. Services include the preparation of comprehensive estate plan documents (i.e., Trusts, Wills, Advanced Medical Directives, Power of Attorney, etc.) as well as guidance on proper funding and titling of assets to put these plans in place.
A native of Hampton, Virginia, I currently reside in Virginia Beach. I received my Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and my J.D. from The Marshall Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary. I am also an accomplished artist and photographer.