Marketplace: Craig Dell Attorneys offers estate planning to Park City area
November 20, 2018
Craig Dell lives in the world of "What if?"
As an estate planner, he has to, and he loves being able to help people ask hard questions now so others are not making decisions for them.
Dell, who moved to Park City two years ago, recently opened his own estate planning practice to serve the area.
He happened upon the career by chance. Unsure of what work to pursue as a young student, he decided to go to law school. He said the problem-solving part of practicing law appealed to his inquisitive personality.
Maybe my clients start out as strangers, but they are lifelong friends. In a lot of other areas of law, it’s very transactional. You start it, you do the work and then it’s goodbye,” Craig Dell, managing attorney
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While in law school, he took a class on wills and trusts that changed the trajectory of his life.
He said he excelled in the course, as well as his federal income tax class. His professor told him that if estate planning and tax law appealed to him, he should get a master's degree in tax law.
He completed the one-year program in 2010 and applied to jobs in the field, but because it was during the economic downturn, none were available.
He did find work at a state attorney's office in South Florida, where he gained experience trying cases for Broward County. He worked there for two and a half years, but was ready to do the work he was trained in. In 2013, he opened an estate planning practice of his own.
It was a challenge to learn how to run a business, Dell said. He learned by making mistakes, but he said the work was rewarding and encouraged him to keep working out the kinks.
As an estate planner, he enjoyed learning about people — their goals, their fears and their plans. He said he liked to get to know his clients and build relationships with them, because he usually works with them throughout their lives.
"Maybe my clients start out as strangers, but they are lifelong friends," he said. "In a lot of other areas of law, it's very transactional. You start it, you do the work and then it's goodbye."
He worked in Florida for two years before he and his wife decided to move to Park City. They had visited the ski town several times over the years for vacation and wanted to live in Park City to start a family.
Once here, he passed the Utah State Bar Examination and opened his estate planning practice, Craig Dell Attorneys.
Since moving here in May of 2016, he said the practice has been going well and slowly growing over time. It has been like starting from zero all over again, but he is excited to serve the Utah population. He has one office in Park City and one in Salt Lake City.
He continues to enjoy the work, helping people "plan for the expected and unexpected in their lives." Seeing his clients at ease about their affairs is what makes the work worth it.
He also enjoys educating people about the importance of wills and trusts, because he said people often procrastinate on making those decisions. He hosts seminars three to five times a month about the importance of estate planning and tips to go about it.
"This is something that every person needs. They need it like they need water," he said. "What I do is for everyone, and that's one of the things that I really like about my area of law opposed to other areas of law."
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