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Real Estate and Estate Planning Attorney Julie Velasquez

Julie Velasquez

Attorney at Law

Real estate and lending

My story begins with more than 15 years of service with Lutheran Brotherhood and Thrivent Financial.  I functioned as the director of a national church mortgage loan portfolio, growing it to 1,000 loans, and establishing the company as a national leader in church lending. 

In that role I first developed my interest in real estate and in the law.  I loved the analysis of the organizational and financial documents of the borrowing congregations, identifying and resolving real estate and survey matters, analysis of construction budgets, and drafting contractual templates and specific agreements.

Construction

I subsequently managed construction-related risk for more than 10 years with First American Title Insurance Company.

On a transaction level, I’ve reviewed construction draw documentation and lien waivers, construction-related terms in agreements such as leases, commercial loan agreements, environmental grants, various governmental grants and loan agreements, as well as various trust and escrow agreements.  I’ve negotiated and drafted construction loan disbursing agreements and construction escrow agreements for hundreds of construction projects. 

 While accomplishing these challenges, in 2010 I also undertook the personal challenge of obtaining my law degree, which I accomplished in 2014.

Real Estate, Lending, Construction

Looking for a broader application of my legal skills, in 2018, I moved to Commercial Partners Title.  As Underwriting Counsel, I’ve combined my legal skills and all of my previous business experience with business organizations, mortgage loans, construction, and real estate.  This combination allows me to address a broad array of situations affecting title, ultimately helping customers to meet their transactional needs.

Estate planning

After passing the bar exam in 2014, I sought a volunteer opportunity that would allow me to support the community with my new legal skills.  I soon discovered the Wills for Heroes program.  Wills for Heroes is a national program that provides Health Care Directives, Powers of Attorney, and Wills at no charge to first responders.  I quicky developed a passion for this work.

A few other things I’ve learned about estate planning since then:

Your planning is critical to those who must act during your incapacity or death

I’ve been in that position where a loved one did not create a will, they did not properly own the home, and the documentation for various accounts and records was not in a single place. 

This is not uncommon.  Some records can even be scattered in various reading materials, storage boxes, or even coat pockets.  It is a potentially overwhelming endeavor for your loved ones to find, gather and deal with your personal and financial information, and to gain the access needed.   This situation is entirely preventable and manageable with proper planning.

Your children must be cared for during your incapacity or death

Thinking about the need for estate planning is hard enough, but it is especially important for those with children.

In the event of your incapacity or death, without clear, legally enforceable documentation, your children may go through the foster care system for a period of time.  They may ultimately wind up in the care of family members, but not in the care of those you would have otherwise chosen. Ensuring that your children will be cared for by people you know and trust must be done properly. 

You have legitimate challenges to getting it done

Our incapacity or death are both unpleasant to think about.  Taking time off work to get it done is even more difficult.  These are legitimate difficulties to sitting down and getting it done.  I’m able to help make this planning happen by meeting with clients remotely or in person on evenings and weekends.

Estate planning covers many legal disciplines

On-line forms have their place, but effective estate planning requires understanding of many inter-related legal disciplines, including real estate, business, tax, and estate law.  It’s like knowing when you can just run to Home Depot and when you need to understand what is behind the walls and to call the plumber or the electrician.  In order to know the correct direction to take, you need to know the additional questions to ask.

If you have real estate or estate planning concerns you would like to discuss, I would be happy to have a conversation with you. 

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