Holly Geerdes, Founding Attorney of Estate Law Center USA, is a female attorney, community leader, and successful entrepreneur. With over 22 years of experience in the legal field as a premier trial and asset attorney, Holly has overseen major legal issues pending across the U.S., as well as locally for local State legislatures and State Bars. With her array of knowledge, she is one of the most sought-after attorneys in estate planning, elder law, and asset protection. She is the founder of Estate Law Center USA, a premier law group specializing in estate planning in several states nationwide. Here, she assists clients and even hosts free, in-person and online workshops to help educate the general public on the process of wills and estate planning.
Grit Daily: Please share more about your professional background and how you got started as an attorney.
Holly Geerdes: I grew up in a small town in Iowa, and after high school, I discovered my passion for the legal field. I pursued my law degree and graduated from law school at the University of Minnesota. From there, I moved to Atlanta to work for the State of Georgia on some of the most important legal appeal issues to the highest court, Georgia Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Five years later, I opened my own law firm, Estate Law Center. For the past 15 years, we’ve been specializing in estate planning and asset protection.
Grit Daily: What inspired you to go into estate planning, and how did Estate Law Center come to life?
Holly Geerdes: When I was in law school, I watched my grandmother lose her assets due to her long-term care costs from her dementia and nursing home expenses. Thereafter, I focused on becoming an attorney to help families and businesses protect their assets. I vowed to educate and help families on how to protect their home and life savings from life events such as creditors, lawsuits, divorces, remarriages, long term care costs, Medicaid, probate, and estate tax.
Grit Daily: Can you describe your journey as a female entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry, and what challenges have you faced along the way?
Holly Geerdes: The challenges were mainly not having a support network of other women willing to help and support each other. That has changed recently, but when I first started my career, each one of us were the exception and thus, did not have the network of support in a male dominated field. I focused on becoming the best, but not sacrificing all the skills and benefits of being a woman. I have always been in a male dominated industry, but I never used that as an excuse to not do the best for my clients. There are just as many women as men who need legal services in my area of expertise. Thus, being female was also an advantage and I used that to become successful and expand my business across the United States.
Grit Daily: How do you balance the demands of your legal practice and entrepreneurial ventures, and what strategies have you developed to manage your time effectively?
Holly Geerdes: It’s a constant juggling act to find the equilibrium for handling the most essential tasks and deadlines. It’s a labor of love and very rewarding in the end when the smoke clears. I learned the hard way to plan way ahead for everything whenever possible. I’ve also found that taking time to myself to meditate helps me stay calm, organized, and ultimately, achieve success in both my personal and professional life.
Grit Daily: Can you discuss some of the most important lessons you have learned as an entrepreneur, and how have these lessons impacted your approach to business and legal practices?
Holly Geerdes: Most people have good intentions, so give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Win, lose or draw, you have to be indifferent to outcomes. That way, you don’t let yourself get too down when disappointed and you don’t go too high with successes. Another important lesson I’ve learned is to always trust your gut instincts. It’s easy to get caught up in overthinking or seeking the opinions of others, but do your best to listen to your intuition and do what’s best for your business.
Grit Daily: What have been some of the most rewarding experiences in your career, and how have these experiences influenced your personal and professional growth?
Holly Geerdes: It’s been very rewarding to teach so many people about estate planning. It gives me great satisfaction to know I’ve provided peace of mind to hundreds, if not thousands of families. Additionally, the relationships that I’ve built with my clients and community over the years have been incredibly inspiring. It’s an honor to help others and definitely keeps me motivated in this field.
Grit Daily: What are your plans for the future, and how do you plan to grow your business?
Holly Geerdes: I plan to expand by purchasing another office building and staffing it with awesome people to serve another community for Estate Law Center. We have already been looking at land, as well as existing locations for the next potential office. We’re excited to keep expanding our services in the years to come!
Grit Daily: What advice would you give to young women who are considering a career as an attorney and entrepreneur, and what qualities do you think are essential for success in these fields?
Holly Geerdes: My best piece of advice would be to make it your passion, and you’ll never work again. When you love what you do it shows in so many ways, from your personal life all the way to the board room. Additionally, qualities that I believe are essential for success in these fields are perseverance and determination. These are key traits for success in any career, but especially in these challenging fields. There will be obstacles and setbacks along the way, but staying focused and persistent will help you ultimately achieve your goals.