Matt Henoch, an of counsel attorney with Hahn Loeser & Parks who specializes in estate planning and probate litigation, saw the beauty of becoming a lawyer as a senior in college. A member of the Washington University Environmental Law Clinic, Henoch and his group mates were able to argue for improved clean water regulations in Missouri.
Upon seeing the positive impact he was able to create through law, Henoch now works to alleviate legal estate planning stresses that can arise in a person’s life or after a family member passes away. His experience spans all areas of estate planning from various taxes to drafting wills to powers of attorney. He also represents clients and family businesses involved in claims of litigation and arbitration, such as undue influence and lack of mental capacity.
CJN: Why did you want to focus on estate planning and probate litigation?
Henoch: Honestly, I became an estates and trusts attorney almost by accident. My now-wife and I were living 200 miles apart – Detroit to Cleveland. I found a firm in Cleveland, and part of the job was covering probate hearings in all 88 Ohio counties. These hearings were not rocket science. The work was not glamorous, but I gained a real appreciation for what is done in probate court. It is noble to try to bring order out of the chaos that sets in after someone dies.
CJN: What Jewish values do you use in your work?
Henoch: When my non-Jewish clients lose a parent, I often tell them that – under Jewish tradition – there are five periods of mourning. At first are the most somber and difficult stages, but we eventually must emerge back into the world and back to our daily routines and joys. It is so unfair that while going through the most intense stages of grieving, there is also a mountain of paperwork and tasks that needs to be carried out. While we as attorneys cannot make the mourning any easier, it is our duty to help our clients transition back to life as usual.
CJN: What does being a lawyer mean to you?
Henoch: Our clients entrust us with the responsibility of making sure that their final wishes will be carried out. Despite the crazy hours and the difficult work, it truly is a joy and an honor to come to work every day.