Meet Marivel Zialcita and enjoy this discussion about her Claremont California based trust, estate, and elder law practice center, her extensive involvement in community service, and how she approaches new clients with property issues. Tell us a little bit about your practice and your clients. Marivel has been practicing for over 15 years. She always enjoyed working with and helping the senior community. When she went out on her own a few years ago, she began practicing with special needs clients and asset protection planning for seniors. Her typical clients include family businesses, probate clients that have had a loss in the family, and seniors. Marivel gets a lot of clients going through probate that have trouble maintaining the properties in probate and their own mortgages. She usually has to work quickly to get injunctive relief for the clients to get some breathing room and time to sell the property. They can often be wild rides with a lot of work and lot of parties involved. Where do your special needs clients come from? Marivel’s special needs clients typically come from other attorneys that have represented them, or they are often the parents of special needs children that want to protect their children and leave funds behind so they are taken care of. Guardianships are for minors, conservatorships are for adults, and both can involve real property. Marivel works with the court to make sure that the fiduciary duties are being taken care of in those cases. When working with professional fiduciaries, it always good to be in contact with their representation and understand what kind of court orders are involved in the case. How have the judges and the bench been treating you? There are only a few probate courts in Marivel’s area so she really gets to know the court officers in each one. They tend to be very collaborative since they involve the outcomes of families. As long as you are doing your job well, the court will respect you and what you are trying to do. Video conferencing is becoming more common but a lot of courts haven’t made a lot of use of the technology yet. Did you have a natural attraction to your area of law? When Marivel was five years old she knew she was going to be an attorney, she just didn’t know what area of law. All throughout college and high school, she worked in various law firms in various capacities. This gave her the experience she needed to start her own firm later on. She naturally gravitated towards trust and estate law. Her motto is “Your life, your legacy.” A lot of the attorneys that she resonated with have had similar stories of knowing early on what they wanted to be and do. What is the most important thing when you’re looking at a new case? The first thing Marivel does is spend time with the client and let them do the talking. She recognized early on that sometimes the client just needs to be heard. She usually does an intake form after the initial meeting, and then she begins digging into the bones of the matter. She always asks what they want at the end of the first meeting. This allows her to manage their expectations and let them know how the case could potentially go. From there, it’s just a matter of servicing the client. What is your biggest strength that surprises your clients? Marivel is 4”11’, looks young, and she doesn’t speak unless necessary most of the time, so when she becomes aggressive and adversarial to fight for a client people don’t really expect it. What do you wish you knew as a young attorney? Don’t take it personally. When your client is upset or the opposing counsel isn’t playing well, it’s not about you. But it’s these kinds of experiences that give you the tough skin you need to succeed. What gets you up in the morning on a Monday? Mondays are a great day, they are a chance for Marivel to help her clients through some very tough times in their life and she’s up to the challenge. Links To Resources Mentioned 909-256-6702 Mmzlawyer.com facebook.com/mmzlaw instagram.com/mmzlaw Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5-star rating and review in iTunes!