Welcome to the Roman Estate Law Blog
By: Jose Roman
Hello, my name is Jose Roman. I am an estate planning attorney located in Pennsylvania and founder of Roman Estate Law, LLC. I would like to thank you the reader for taking the time to visit our website and reading our blog.
As an estate planning attorney my goal is to provide as many people as possible with the knowledge and services they need to assist them with their estate planning. My goal with this blog is to provide you with as much information as possible about estate planning so that when you do decide to develop your estate plan, you can make informed decisions about how you will approach your personal situation. My hope is that you will find this information valuable and informative.
Who am I?
As I mentioned above I am Jose Roman. I currently live in Bucks County, PA and am licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania. I am a 2007 graduate of Penn State University and a 2010 graduate of Widener University Delaware Law School. Unlike most people who graduate law school I decided not to take the bar exam right out of law school. I was interested to see how my law degree could help me in a non-traditional way.
In 2012 I was hired to work for Xerox Business Services, a division of Xerox the printer company, as a retirement plan administrator. Xerox Business Services was a company that many other companies outsourced parts of their Human Resources functions to such as retirement plan administration, health and welfare administration, payroll and much more. At Xerox I had the privilege of learning a lot about retirement plans such as 401(k) and pension plans for some of Americas largest and most well known companies. I also had the privilege of helping plan participants, the workers of those companies, resolve many of their issues related to those plans. Specifically, my role required me to review and approve what are called Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, a special type of court order that is required to divide a person's retirement plans as the result of a divorce. If you have ever been divorced, and you have a retirement plan through your employer, then chances are you have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
As you can imagine this is a very difficult time in someone's life. You have worked hard for a company for many years, have been able to save money or have been provided with an excellent pension plan by your employer only to have to go through a divorce, which by itself can be embarrassing, heartbreaking and emotional, but then you find out you owe your ex-spouse a large portion, if not all of your retirement that worked so hard for. Many of the people I interacted with were bitter and frustrated about having to go through this process, some of whom waited many years after their divorce to complete their orders. So for those people they were reliving what could possibly be the worst time of their life.
My goal everyday was to try and make the experience as enjoyable as possible for them considering the circumstances. I can recall plenty of times where a conversation began with a caller angry only for it to end pleasantly with them thanking me for all of the help I provided. To me that is what customer service is all about, being able to put yourself in a customer's shoes and empathize with them and show you understand where they are coming from and provide value for them, even as they are giving away much of their retirement.
Fast forward to 2017 and Xerox decided to separate from Xerox Business Services and a new company was formed, Conduent. Around this time I was also being rewarded for all of my hard work and began to go through a series of promotions, with my final promotion being in 2021 as the manager of the team I joined all the way back in 2012. I was proud of my success but each promotion took me further and further away from the people who needed their problems solved.
Over the years I kept wondering how things would be different if I had taken the bar exam, and decided to serve my community. Well in late 2021 I decided I was going to find out. I continued to work my job full time during the day and would study for the bar exam at night. In January 2022 I resigned from my position at Conduent, a tough decision, not because I would not have a job anymore, but because I was leaving behind a team that I loved and who helped me grow everyday.
My plan moving forward was to pass the bar and start my own law firm and serve my community. I will be forever thankful for the opportunities I had at Xerox and Conduent and the many people I worked with on a daily basis. If any of you are reading this, you have all had an impact on my life. I focused full time on the bar exam for a month prior to taking the exam in February 2022 and the rest as they say is history. April came and the scores were released and I passed.
So now what?
When I decided I was going to become a lawyer, my plan was to open my own practice and to focus my practice on estate planning. Why estate planning? I chose estate planning, because unlike other areas of the law it is something that we all need. Not everyone needs a divorce lawyer, not everyone needs a criminal lawyer, not everyone needs a lawyer that can help them start a business. Not to discount those lawyers because they provide a valuable service to their clients, but not everyone needs their services. Estate planning is different because everyone can benefit from it. That being said, many people do not have an estate plan or know what it truly entails, or why they need one.
A common misconception is that estate planning is only for the wealthy. I want to dispel that myth. My goal for my practice and this blog in particular is to educate readers and clients about the importance of estate planning in their lives as a way to protect themselves, their family and their assets throughout all stages of their life. Whether your only asset is a bank account where your social security payment is deposited or you are Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, everyone should have an estate plan.
In future blog posts I will be providing information that will allow you to become familiar with estate planning, educate you on the terminology, and hopefully dispel the myth that estate planning is only for the wealthy. I also hope that you will take this information and speak to your friends and family about what you learn here, so that they too can think about estate planning as not just for the "rich" but for everyone who has a family that they want to protect.
I want thank you again for taking the time to visit our website and our blog, I look forward to this new journey and I hope that I can provide value to you and your loved ones.
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If you have any questions about estate planning feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com and I would be happy to assist you.