PLANNING LEADS US HERE.
About the Firm: irene's Story
After aging out of foster care, I started my career in Florida as a trauma nurse in Jacksonville. While working in trauma, I treated people at their worst moments and was the foundation of over 30 years experience of helping families through challenging decisions.
Hector and I met, fell in love, and built our family, while working as registered nurses in the trauma center. We’ve experienced firsthand that death, illness, and disability does not discriminate. Still, it is something you can plan for and something you should plan for now while you’re able. Although we’ve seen death and destruction via bedside, we never thought anything like what we had seen on the day-to-day would make it’s way into our life and home.
Hector decided to make a career move and go to law school. The boys were 8 and 9 years old, and just a few months before graduation, Hector was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Given the size and location of the tumor, the doctors gave Hector less than a 1% chance of survival if he were to undergo surgery. Regardless, we had hope and proceeded with the surgery. Hector wanted to make sure that the boys and I were taken care of, so we were counseled to put a traditional estate plan together.
As you can imagine, getting an estate plan in place was just one of the many things on my to-do list that week. We met with a local attorney, paid thousands of dollars, walked out with a set of documents, put the binder on my bookshelf, and went on the next thing on my to-do list.
“Do not leave planning to your final hours.”
-hector de Jesus
Getting an estate plan in place was just one of the many things on my to-do list. We met with a local attorney, paid thousands of dollars, walked out with a set of documents, and went on the next thing on my to-do list.
By the grace of God, Hector beat the odds, relearned how to walk, and graduated with his class. He then opened his firm in probate litigation. I thought, well, if he could finish law school and pass the bar with a brain injury, I certainly could!
I went to law school, graduated, and opened my firm. As soon as I did, I was unhappy because there was a huge disconnect between what I had dreamed about when I went to law school and the reality of being a lawyer. I dreamed of attending law school and making a difference in people’s lives. Still, a traditional practice in a law firm was transactional and didn’t truly serve the clients.
Here’s what I mean…
First of all, everything is billed on an hourly basis. And, as you can imagine, at more than $400/hour, my clients wanted me to do everything as quickly as possible with as little communication as possible. They didn’t want to talk about their kids, and my kids were afraid to call when they had changes in their life because they didn’t know how much that call would cost them and whether it was worth it.
As a result, often, they would have life changes, such as a new baby, a divorce, a new property purchase, or a new business started. Still, I wouldn’t hear about it because they didn’t want to pay to tell me. And that meant their plan would fail when their family needed it most because it would be outdated after we created it.
When they did call, I could not be responsive because we needed a whole team of people to support us. It was just Hector and me. I was the paralegal, the legal secretary, and the file clerk too, which was great from a learning perspective but not significant from the standpoint of being able to serve my clients.
When Hector was diagnosed with his brain tumor, we spent thousands of dollars on an estate plan. It wouldn’t have done anything to support us if something had happened to Hector or me. The person we had named to wrap up our affairs was in jail. The guardian we named for our two boys was now a registered sex offender, and I didn’t know we even had a trust or if the lawyer knew Hector was alive.
I thought for sure our lawyer must have committed malpractice, but then after speaking with other estate planning attorneys, they did it the same way, and most firms do. What I found out is that it wasn’t malpractice at all. It is common practice.
The typical estate planning experience had become merely writing documents. The client would come in, and lawyers would prepare some documents for them. They’d sign the documents (most often not having a clear sense of what they were signing) and then take the documents, stick them in a drawer and not look at them again.
That’s just what the typical estate planning experience had become. And I knew my clients’ plans would fail if I followed suit.
Nothing abnormal about it, but it didn’t feel right to me. We needed a process for following up with our clients, ensuring their assets were appropriately titled or that we were communicating regularly to ensure their plans continued to work throughout their life.
So, I thought long and hard about how I could do better. Hector and I teamed up and created de Jesus Law Group on the idea of bringing bedside manner and love of relationship to the law.
Initial planning is just the beginning of the relationship. We’re focused on creating a plan we know will work for you and the people you love.
So, here are some of the things we do differently based on my experience with the traditional model of estate planning:
- Nothing we do is billed on an hourly basis. Everything we do is a flat fee, agreed to in advance, so there are no surprises. You’ll know what it will cost to work with us after we’ve clarified what you want, and you’ll even be able to choose your fee.
- We have a team of people here to support you. You’ll be able to speak to someone to get your questions answered right away. And, if you need to talk with me about something my team cannot answer, we’ll schedule a call so we don’t waste your time playing phone tag.
- We see planning as just the beginning of the relationship. In contrast, the plan is typically viewed as a one-time transactional event in the past.
To your life, health, and legacy,
Irene de Jesus
hector's legacy continues through each plan we design. his friendship, love, and counsel are within the very pages of which our estate plans are written.
Irene de Jesus | Licensed in Florida
BARRY LAW SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX
B.S.N. in Nursing
Activities & Affiliations
Florida Bar | Member
Elder Law College | Member & Graduate
Wealth Council | Member
Personal Family Lawyer| Endorsed Member
Florida Nurses Association | Member & Licensed
In Memory of Co-Founding Member
Hector de Jesus, esq.
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Attorney, Mentor
SOUTHERN ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY
BARRY LAW SCHOOL
B.A. In Business
FLORIDA STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
A.S.N. in Nursing
Hector grew up in Deltona and graduated in DeLand High School in 1981 and then graduating Navy Medic Training in 1985. He graduated Barry Law School in 2004 and co-founded the firm with Irene in 2012 after serving as COO at Florida Hospital DeLand.
It is impossible to say all the ways this one man impacted his family and community and what a good man he was.
Silvana de Jesus
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
SOUTHERN ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY
B.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- Silvana leads our overall operations, processes, and team.
- She graduated with a degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, dabbled in the healthcare industry, worked abroad in Cyprus and owned two successful small businesses.
- She is fueled by her professional passions in organizational culture, leadership & talent development, relationship building, and genuinely helping others. Working with the firm has allowed her to combine these passions in order to enhance and manage clients’ experiences with lifetime relationships.
- Silvana works remotely out of state. She loves spending time outdoors, camping and hiking, tending to their little homestead, traveling, and learning about different cultures.
Client Relations DIRECTOR
Business Management, B.A.
- Kristy is a DeLand native, born and raised where she still resides here with her husband of 10 years, Matthew and her two children, Dominic 7 and Juliana 5.
- She came to us with over 10 years of business management experience as well as a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Daytona State College.
- Kristy thrives in providing superior customer service and is a natural problem solver. She is a business professional who maintains a consistent work ethic and holds herself to the highest values.
- When Kristy isn’t at the office, you can find her enjoying family time at the beach, attending sporting events, reading and enjoying life’s simple treasures.
OUTREACH & LEGAL SPECIALIST
- Shelbi has a passion for helping others, particularly in the legal field. When her family had to go through probate, she realized this area of the law is where should could help others avoid the same heartache that failing to estate plan can bring. She has the drive to assist clients every step of the way with their planning.
- Shelbi is a mon to a courageous and adventurous little boy! In her free time she likes to read, journal, and take long walks on the beach.