Gary DeWitt Attorney-at-Law
I strive to stop the consequences of not planning:
- You stand to lose your autonomy as a person and be put into the hands of Adult Protective Services or somebody else that you don’t desire
- You put your family’s security at risk
- You put your assets at risk
- Your private affairs will be publicized
- If you are incapacitated, your family will have to go to court to access your funds
- Your spouse’s next spouse can cut your children out
- Estate tax rates start at 40%
I grew up on a ranch in Northeastern Oklahoma. When I wasn’t in school, I was working on the family ranch. I learned the importance of hard work at an early age, and was raised with strong values: Perseverance, Honesty, Integrity & Service. Also, my parents taught me life should be conducted in the order of God, Family, Country.
I was blessed to be able to attend Oklahoma State University, majoring in Business Administration and Computer Science.
As a result, I was able to spend the next 20 years working as a computer professional & consultant. Most of that time was spent working in the agriculture industry at a very large poultry company & providing consultation services to numerous Fortune 100 companies.
However, even though I was successful, I felt something was missing in my life.
In February of 2010, my father passed away of a sudden heart attack. Because of this, my mother and I had to take the family ranch through probate – for the third time since 1975. This was an extremely long and stressful process and it is the last thing that anyone wants to go through while they are mourning.
Later in 2010, I experienced some heart problems. While lying in the hospital and reflecting on my life, I decided to take my life and career in a different direction.
I decided that I wanted to help families navigate their own probate issues; and through proper planning guide others in avoiding this stress.
Although not many people go to Law School with the goal of becoming an Estate Planner, that’s exactly what I did!
I attended the University of Arkansas Law School, graduated, passed the bar and was reborn as an attorney.
Proper Planning Saves Headaches and Money
Growing up on a ranch, it was understood that during the good times, you should prepare for the not-so-good times (accidents are common on a ranch). Most people don’t think about Estate Planning, until after its too late.
With proper Estate Planning, nobody should have to go through probate. Nobody should have to add extra strain to an already emotional time. Families deserve to be protected from the dangers they don’t know about. If you are already going through Probate Court, my goal is to help guide your family though the process, stress-free.
The Best Part of Waking Up
The best part of being an Estate Planner, what motivates me every day, are the families I get to work with. Meeting you, hearing your stories & counseling you on creating a practical & effective plan for the future, is a gratifying experience. I truly enjoy taking you through the planning process, explaining and simplifying the “legalese” along the way — so you understand all of your options and make the best decisions for your loved ones.
My education, coupled with my valuable life experiences, gives me a unique perspective and allows me to bring Estate Planning and Elder Law solutions to your family, in a way that goes beyond the traditional lawyer/client relationship. I don’t provide canned, one-size-fits-all plans. I work to create a customized solution, tailored to each client’s values, needs & goals. I also take the time to make sure each plan is implemented correctly and I monitor the plan so it is kept up-to-date.
What Makes Me Uniquely Qualified to Help You:
- Practice limited to Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law
- 20 Years of real life work experience in planning, design, and analysis
- Advanced Law Degree (LLM) in Estate Planning and Elder Law
- Member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- Member of Wealth Counsel
- First hand life experience in these areas of law (been there, done that personally)
At the DeWitt Law Firm, we make a thorough and diligent effort to understand your family’s values, needs and goals. Our passion is helping to make sure that your legacy & assets are preserved, your loved ones’ futures are secured….and your family will never have to go through a long, difficult probate process.
About Our Firm
When founder Gary DeWitt opened the DeWitt Law Firm, PLLC in 2014, he saw an opportunity to change the way estate planning was done. To transform the experience most people get when doing their estate planning. He saw the creation of an estate plan as a lifelong relationship with you as your trusted adviser.
To make this a reality, the firm was built around certain core values at the heart of the firm. These include:
- Returning phone calls and communications in a timely manner
- Lawyer doing all the work, not a paralegal or secretary
- Passion for Planning
- No “canned” solutions. Unique solutions for unique families like yours
- It’s not about the work, it’s about the relationship with you
We want you to have a great experience when you work with us. We want you to have peace of mind from the moment we start and from then on.
In order to accomplish, Gary created a unique 10 step, three phase system: Agile Method Proactive Planning – AMPP for short.
AMPP is built on ten tenants:
- Client satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of value
- Welcome changes, even late in the planning process
- Close cooperation between client and attorney
- Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication, supplemented by mail, email, and phone
- Plans developed with motivated individuals
- An effective, working plan is the principal measure of progress
- Continuous attention to excellence and good design
- Sustainable progress
- Simplicity is essential
- Self-reflection on how to become more effective and adjust accordingly
Because the best things in life aren’t property, we are leading the way towards personal planning. We use a Revocable Living Trust, or other tools not only to distribute your goods, but to express your values.
For example, you may create a trust that rewards your children for the behavior your want, such as getting a higher education. You can create a trust that keeps wealth in the family, even in the harsh reality of a divorce, lawsuit, remarriage, or children inexperienced in handling money.
We also strongly believe that everybody should proactively manage their personal, legal, financial, and healthcare decisions. We create the proper powers of attorney with every plan.
We understand that the high cost of nursing home care is often a concern. We look forward and make our best efforts to plan with those high costs in mind in order to shield your money as effectively as possible.
When the estate plan must be carried out, we compassionately help families navigate the murky waters of settling the estate.
I am a native of Arkansas, having been in and around Northwest Arkansas most of my life. I have lived in Springdale for the past 16 years working, playing and raising our 2 children, Madeline and Aaron.
I have had several careers like most people. After working in large companies I decided I was ready for a change.
My sister was working at UAMS in Little Rock as a physical therapist and took me to work with her. I fell in love with physical therapy and went back to school to become a physical therapist assistant. The next 16 years I worked with children with special needs in the public schools and pre-schools.
I absolutely loved working with the children, families, physical therapist and other health care professionals. The children were such a delight! It was so rewarding to help a child to grow and thrive, walk and play, crawl and climb. Even though some of the diagnosis were frightening and debilitating it gave me great joy to help those children experience normal activities like swinging or playing in a ball pit.
Gary’s Change of Profession
After Gary’s father passed away in 2010 he told me he wanted to go back to school to become an attorney. He didn’t want anyone to go through the tedious and long process that our family had to go through with his father’s probate. I knew that he had found a career he could be passionate about and I was behind him 100%.
He has an incredible mind and I knew he could accomplish anything he set his mind to. I have always enjoyed helping people and I wanted to have my own business, since I grew up helping both my mom and my brother operate their own successful businesses.
My two children, Aaron and Madeline, are what drive me on a daily basis to work hard. I want to be the example for them on having a successful balance of work and family time. But also, serving our community with caring and dedication.
My goal is to assist every person who comes through our doors. I will do my best to help people get the best service in a caring environment in a timely manner. I am dedicated to returning phones calls with answers! Our office is here to serve and we love having our clients feel welcome to drop by when they need us.
Our goal is to be the person you turn to when making those big decisions in life. We want to be a friend of the family for generations to come. Each family has a different set of needs and goals. Our plans are customized for each family and we do that taking our clients through the planning process, explaining the options and making a plan that will fit our clients’ needs and goals.
Day in and day out I assist Gary on helping our clients in proper planning at every stage of their lives.
Different People, Different Plans
There is a different plan for single individuals, young married couples, to people in their 40’s, 50’s and on. We listen to our clients to make sure that their goals are met. We strive to prevent the “horror” stories we hear from people every week. Having to move your loved one into a nursing home is hard enough without finding out they will not qualify for Medicaid.
Conclusion — Local Folk
We love working and playing in Downtown Springdale and being part of the revival of the downtown area.
I hope that I can serve you and make planning a creative experience to share with generations to come!
What Sets Us Apart?
We are the DeWitt Law Firm, PLLC. I love creating plans to save people from headaches, but I was fed up with “one size fits all” plans. So I created my law firm to customize each plan to maximize protection and minimize your out of pocket cost.
I’ve created a system that tells you exactly what you need to plan and minimizes the amount of time it takes to get everything in one place.
With a system, vital items don’t “fall through the cracks” and get overlooked. Workbooks and checklists make sure we don’t create the wrong plan for you.
What really sets us apart?
- An attorney does ALL of the work. From the interview, answering questions, creating the documents, signing, and making changes, an attorney does it all.
- You are our partner, not just a client. Whether you’ve been with us for days or decades, we’re always responsive and always on.
- We are not a “trust mill.” Your plan is custom crafted to minimize cost and maximize benefit. We don’t do things just because they are the “flavor of the month.”
- Your time is important. If we are more than 15 minutes late, $50.00 to the charity of your choice.
- Your questions are answered, no matter how long it takes. We want you to understand why, not just walk out with a stack of papers.
- Changes, up to one hour of my time, are free of charge within the first year.