Marketing with Passion with Ivette Santaella

We discuss the importance of using passion in your marketing with Ivette Santaella, Managing Attorney at Santaella Legal Group. Ivette’s life experiences give her passion for her area of the law. That passion has powered the success of her marketing and business development efforts. Listen to her story and pick up some tips from a proven rainmaker!

Alay Yajnik: [00:00:26] Welcome to Lawyer Business Advantage, your source for biz dev tips, wisdom and inspiration. I’m your host, Alay Yajnik. We’re unleashing your inner rainmaker in three, two, one….

Alay Yajnik: [00:00:41] It’s my pleasure to welcome to the show Ivette Santaella, Managing Shareholder at Santaella Legal Group. Ivette is a fantastic estate planning and elder law attorney. Ivette, welcome to the show!

Ivette Santaella: [00:00:52] Thank you, Alay. Thank you for having me.

Alay Yajnik: [00:00:54] So glad you’re able to join us as well. You and I have known each other for a while, and I know all about your background and the success that you’ve had, but our listeners don’t know. So please give us a quick overview on what made you decide to open up your firm and what made you decide to focus on estate planning and elder care.

Ivette Santaella: [00:01:17] I’d be happy to. I was corporate counsel for many years, and during that time, my mother got ill with Alzheimer’s. So I had to leave my job. And I took care of her. And after she passed, I realized that I wanted to have a change of direction and focus more on helping people instead of just making money for corporations. So I decided to open up my own practice. I started out on my own and then a colleague of mine went of many years, she joined me and the practice slowly grew. We started doing social media. We started doing blogging and started doing more things together to get a lot of exposure. We also hired a very, very good coach, named Alay Yajnik, who really, really helped us, actually. We helped each other a lot, both starting out. And that made quite a difference. Just working hard. Networking, doing good work. Following up with people. Communicating and contributing to the community. Just helped us grow. The word gets out. If you do a good job, people talk. I love what I do. I look forward to doing this every day. I wish I had started this when I was younger. But it’s it’s just a fabulous area law. I’m probably going to continue doing this until I cannot do it anymore.

Alay Yajnik: [00:02:34] That’s awesome, Ivette! What is it that you really enjoy about practicing estate planning and elder law?

Ivette Santaella: [00:02:40] Of course, you make a decent living, but you’re actually seeing the results of your labor. People come to you with problems and you’re able to help them solve these problems. And we see the hope and the gratitude and the joy, knowing that they expressed that to me and I see that and it just make me think that I’ve accomplished something. So not only, you know, making a living, but you’re also really helping somebody. When I used to be in corporate America is doing contracts and negotiations, whereas, you know, I’m actually dealing with people. I’m helping them. And it’s very rewarding.

Alay Yajnik: [00:03:17] And you do a fantastic job of it. You know, a lot of the people that I’ve connected with have said that you’ve done a fantastic job for them. And one of the things that I really appreciated about your approach is that you take a genuine interest in your clients. And I believe that, you’ve got a personal story around that and something that’s pretty near and dear to your heart. Would you mind sharing that with your listeners?

Ivette Santaella: [00:03:40] Yeah. I started talking about my mom. She had Alzheimer’s and unfortunately she had to go into skilled nursing, I tried to take care of her. I hired people, but it just wasn’t working. And I was a single mom at the time with two small children, and she needed specialized care. And in addition to that, she was highly medicated, so I made the hard decision to put her into skilled nursing. During that time I learned a lot about the elder care system, Medicare. I didn’t know about Medicare. I wish I had known about that because I would have been able to preserve her assets and mine, but also the importance of doing planning. She was a judge in New York City and she did not have an estate plan. And because she did not have an estate plan when she got sick, I could not help her out. I had to do what’s called the New York guardianship. And then when the judge finally allowed me to move her to California, I had to do a conservatorship. And I have to tell you that was a lot of work, not a very pleasant experience, but that was the only way that I could help her out. Conservatorships are very expensive. There’s a reason for that. There’s a lot of work involved, court appearances, in addition to being a conservator and going to court. You also have to compare accountings. You have to make sure that the person is conserved, is cared for. That they have everything they need. It’s almost like a full time job. So after she passed, I realized that I wasn’t fulfilled being a corporate lawyer. And then, you know, I got into this field. So I’m very passionate about it. And I can relate to what people are going through when they call me because I lived through it. And I feel that I can really give them a bird’s eye perspective because I actually have gone through that.

Alay Yajnik: [00:05:29] It’s such a fantastic story, Ivette, and I appreciate you sharing that with us. What you do is not easy. And in general, for all your listeners, I understand the practice of law is not easy. And to have such a passionate connection to what it is that you’re doing makes it a little bit easier to get through the days that aren’t as easy, right? Get through some of those tough days because you really love what you do when you care deeply about your clients because you don’t feel connection.

Ivette Santaella: [00:05:56] Yes, definitely. I get very personally involved in the case then I’m quite an advocate in the court. I’m not a litigator, but I get very, very much involved as I feel very strongly about my client’s welfare. And I enjoy doing it.

Alay Yajnik: [00:06:13] And I know that’s fueled your success over the years now that you’ve got your own firm as well. It’s really interesting because you’re one of those people who really does a lot of business development traditionally. Now that you have your own firm as a solo attorney, how do you find the time for biz dev and everything else?

Ivette Santaella: [00:06:32] You know, I enjoy networking and it’s something as the sole proprietor, as a business owner, you have to do. I mean, just because I’m established, I’ve been doing this for a while, people know me…it’s not enough to get new work or get, you know, meet people. You have to go out to network, activities, social activities, I’m getting involved more in community affairs and, you know, just meet people. I’m part of an ombudsmen board for Contra Costa. And it’s also a passion of mine because it talks about regulating nursing homes, associated with what I do. So through that work people know me. Oh, it’s just getting out there and getting involved and meeting people because I’m very social. So for me, it’s fun. So I make sure that I get out and do something at least once a week.

Alay Yajnik: [00:07:24] Very cool.

Ivette Santaella: [00:07:25] It’s something you have to do and I try to blog as often as I can because I like to keep my website relevant.

Alay Yajnik: [00:07:33] So I would love to hear more about that. We’re going to talk more about networking in a moment. But what are some of the other marketing tactics that you really feel get results for you?

Ivette Santaella: [00:07:43] I have a very robust Web Web site. When I post something, they post it to all the relevant social media plus all the relevant legal networking groups. They take care of all that. I try and do a lot of blogging. I’m going to start doing what we’re doing now: a podcast. I’m starting to do it. Yeah, I’ve started to Instagram. I go to a meeting. I’ll take a picture and then say I was at the meeting with Alay, we were talking about X, Y, Z, and I have a staff of millennials who are not afraid of the technology. They’re able to get this posted for me quickly. And that’s that’s been really helpful…I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on that. So whatever is out there that’s new and exciting, I will try. If you have to keep up with the technology, what’s happening. And also, it’s kind of fun to learn new things. So that’s getting out there and talking to people. And, you know, people know you. And it’s amazing. I got a referral from somebody I’ve met through the group Provisors. And I have a client who’s in London!

Alay Yajnik: [00:08:47] Wow.

Ivette Santaella: [00:08:47] Yeah. Now, I have another client in Mexico, I mean, now I’m going international. It’s just amazing. I also am focusing a lot on the Spanish community because I speak Spanish and I have an assistant who speaks very good Spanish. So we are getting a lot of referrals from attorneys who have clients who need help and do not speak very good English, but need someone who really understand Spanish. I’ve opened up that market and I’m developing that, it pays well but it takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight. You really have to work at it and be consistent. If you are, you’re going to see results.

Alay Yajnik: [00:09:27] Well, there were a lot of different marketing tactics you’re using there, and there was some awesome wisdom in addition to all of that. One of the things you mentioned was the blogging that you do and your web site and how they distribute all your content. You know, there’s a lot of internet digital marketing services for law firms and attorneys. I don’t think much of a lot of those. It’s pretty amazing. It’s one of the few services where you can spend, you know, three thousand a month for no guaranteed results for two years. It’s kind of silly, but you’ve gotten good results with it. So tell us a little bit about your experience there.

Ivette Santaella: [00:10:03] My web site I think is relevant because I do the blogging and a lot of blogging I do is through a company called Avvo. And they post throughout the social media world. And when you and I started out many years ago, they weren’t that well known. So they grew. We grew. And now everybody knows if you’re on Avvo, you’re cool…you’re somebody to be reckoned with. They ask you questions and I give advice on the website and it spreads to all the different social media sites. I also tried Google ads. I just didn’t give it enough time. But people tell me that it’s worthwhile. So I’m thinking about trying that again. I’m going to see how that works and then I get referrals from clients, as I said before. I ask them for testimonials, having testimonials posted on the web site is very helpful.

Alay Yajnik: [00:11:04] So Ivette you are just a whirlwind of energy. And when it comes to marketing, my gosh, you’re always trying new things, which is pretty cool! But if there was one thing that, you know, you had to hang your hat on, it would probably be networking, right?

Ivette Santaella: [00:11:17] Definitely. It’s a personal approach. Definitely networking.

Alay Yajnik: [00:11:22] Well, what I love about your approach is your networking actually gets results and you get results pretty quickly. You and I are both in the Provisors networking organization and they are really clear about setting expectations that, “Look, it is going to be at least a year before you start getting referrals out of Provisors.” And here you are in that organization for, you know, your first few months and people all over the place are saying they’ve run into you here that run into you there. You’re getting referrals. You’re giving referrals. My gosh! What do you think separates you from those attorneys who don’t get results from networking?

Ivette Santaella: [00:11:57] Well, like you said, we’re both members of Provisors, we’re both group leaders. That means we’re more involved in that organization. We go to social events. People see us. They see that we’re involved. They see that we’re active. They get to know us better. We do the Troikas. It’s the one on one where you have lunch for breakfast with two other people where you do a deeper dive to learn more about the individual and their work. So we’re out there just making sure people know us, not as a lawyer or as a business coach, but as people. They see what kind of people we are. I think that leads to the referrals and they feel that you’re a good person, compassionate. You’re knowledgeable. Of course you’re knowledgeable you’re a lawyer. Most lawyers are knowledgeable, but, you know, they make that assumption. But the fact that they know you as a person, I think that’s the secret sauce. But you have to be consistent and you have to keep doing it. And you and I are very involved in Provisors, we do a lot of stuff in Provisors. And I think that’s given us a lot of visibility and has really helped us tremendously in getting referrals.

Alay Yajnik: [00:12:59] It definitely hasn’t hurt…absolutely! So one of the things that you’ve done in Provisors is you’ve gotten involved. You’re a group leader associate. So you’re helping out with one of the Provisors groups. And you’re also running an Attorneys Affinity Group, which is a bunch of attorneys in the same room. You’re running that networking group. And there’s other estate planning attorneys in the room, and many of them are very good at what they do. How do you feel about networking with other estate planning attorneys that might be considered your competition?

Ivette Santaella: [00:13:30] I don’t see them as competition. I see them as colleagues and they give me a lot of referrals and I give them a lot of referrals. There might be a client that I can’t handle. I’m too busy or else one of my colleagues is a better match to the client. So I refer to my colleagues. They do the same. I do conservatorships. A lot of the attorneys don’t do conservatorships. So they refer to me. I have a case now where a client is so attached to me that they want me to become the agent in their power of attorney and legally I can’t do that myself. I’m very hesitant to do it. But it’s such a compelling case and the individual is pretty much on his own and he really, really relies on me. So I’m making an exception. So I had to retain another excellent estate planner (we have a lot of great estate planning attorneys) to wrap the paperwork for me to get the paperwork for my client. So I don’t see them as competition. I see them as colleagues. I mean, there’s plenty of work to go around. There’s no reason for us to be at each other’s throats fighting over a client. We’re also very collegial. I mean, if I have a question or something, I can go to one of my colleagues and they can come and ask me any time we help each other build our business, but also to build the industry and build a reputation of estate planners. So the more knowledge we have, the more powerful a group we are, the more difference we can make helping our clients.

Alay Yajnik: [00:14:53] You know, I hope all your listeners heard what they had to say just now, because one of the big mistakes I encounter when I’m working with attorneys is they don’t do enough networking with other attorneys because, you know, for different reasons. But one of the concerns that they bring up is they’re worried about networking with their competition. And you’ve heard from Ivette how it’s really an asset, right? And as Ivette mentioned, even attorneys that do the same thing as you, there’s a lot of potential there, both for collegiality as well as for, you know, exchanging referrals for different subspecialties.

Ivette Santaella: [00:15:30] Right. And, you know something Alay? I have to tell you, attorneys are one of my big sources of referrals. It’s amazing, I mean, trying to do other different kind of law. I get a lot of referrals from them.

Alay Yajnik: [00:15:42] Why do you say that, Ivette?

Ivette Santaella: [00:15:45] I’m hoping that they feel number one that I’m very good at what I do. But number two, that they see how I am. I’m a very caring person. I really get…maybe I get a little too much involved in my clients cases, but I really am passionate about it, about them and about their work, because I just hate seeing people suffer. I hate seeing injustice. And if I know I can help them in some way, I’m going to do it. So I’m very, very involved in things. I think they see that passion. And I think that that’s one of the reasons they refer people. I mean, this guy who referred the thing from London, he’s from a big law firm. And I’m like, “Why did he come to me, of all people?” I mean knows tons of people. That was just so flattering. I was really flattered. And the client in London is going through a hard time because she doesn’t know anyone here. And I’m giving the client in London some peace of mind knowing that she is not totally exposed because I’m watching over her.

Alay Yajnik: [00:16:41] Absolutely. You know, your caring really shines through. Something I’ve seen with most successful attorneys and you really demonstrate this, that people “don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Ivette Santaella: [00:16:56] Yeah, that’s very good. Yeah, I like that. I want to use that on the web site. Thank you, Alay.

Alay Yajnik: [00:17:01] You’re welcome. I wish I had thought of that. It’s not mine, but it is true, right?

Ivette Santaella: [00:17:08] Yeah. It’s perfect. It describes perfectly my philosophy. Yeah.

Alay Yajnik: [00:17:13] And so you’re doing a lot of networking. We’re in this Provisors group together. You also mentioned there’s some other things you do for networking. What are some of the other things you do to network?

Ivette Santaella: [00:17:23] Well, I talk about the ombudsmen. I’m expanding my practice into cannabis law. So I’m getting involved in that and going to attorney meetings, business meetings, expos and seminars. At the same time, though, you know, I talk to people and they learn I’m an estate planner. “Oh, I think I need help with that.” So indirectly, I’m getting business from trying to open a new area of law. When I go through that, I’m getting business from that. So that’s that’s really rewarding. I mean, people see me in church or they have a relative or they have a friend of a friend of a friend…just from different sources. It’s just people see me out there. I think they know what I do. They know I’m passionate about it. And I think because I’ve been doing this for so long and consistently, I think word’s got out now.

Alay Yajnik: [00:18:08] Yeah, and that’s a great point, too, for people that are getting involved in business development. You’ve said it a few times that you have to do it consistently and you have to do it for the long term. So how consistently do you feel you have to do it? And what is your time horizon for figuring out when you’re going to be getting results?

Ivette Santaella: [00:18:25] You know how long I’ve been doing this. And you’ve seen the slow progression. And during that time, I realized it’s not going to happen overnight. People have to trust you. They have to develop relationships with me before they’re going to hand over or refer business to you because it reflects on them as well. So they want to make sure they’re referring it to somebody they can trust. So it took time. It took a lot of time to do it. And it’s something, you know, I might be very successful and busy now, but doesn’t mean I’m going to stop networking. I have to keep doing that until I retire. It doesn’t mean I can rest on my laurels and business is going to come running to me and maybe I won’t do as much. But you still have to be out there in the community. I also hopefully one day I’d like to help in the community, maybe do a case here and there pro bono to help somebody. But it’s something that is part of my business. Part of doing a business is networking. That’s how I see it.

Alay Yajnik: [00:19:17] And no matter how busy you are, you always find time to network. So what is it about about that that makes it such a priority for you, even when you’re super busy? You’re still going to find time to network. Why is that?

Ivette Santaella: [00:19:29] Well, you know, honestly, I like doing it, Alay. It’s kind of fun. I like being around people. I like meeting new people and learning about people. So on the way, it’s kind of nice to get out of the office. But also, if I don’t do it for a while, I feel the difference. People forget about me or something’s going on. I don’t know. But when I’m consistently doing it, I see better results. Maybe is there a correlation there?. I think there is.

Alay Yajnik: [00:19:58] Yeah!

Ivette Santaella: [00:19:58] I really think there is. So I think that’s part of the practice. It’s part of doing business. It’s part of my job, but also I really like it!

Alay Yajnik: [00:20:06] And you’re good at it. That doesn’t hurt either! But activity begets results. So the more activity you put into it (you may not be able to tie results directly to the activity) but you will get more results when you put in more activity. And then you also mentioned people forget. And now more than ever, people forget. And so much of the practice of law…it’s an event driven business. So when there’s an event, when something happens, you need to be top of mind. And if you’re not, someone else will be and that other person is going to get the call.

Ivette Santaella: [00:20:40] Right.

Alay Yajnik: [00:20:40] And if people don’t hear from you in a few weeks, couple of months, it’s surprising: they forget!

Ivette Santaella: [00:20:48] Yeah. That’s a big mistake. Also, you know, giving other people referrals and even not expecting anything back from them. But I’ve gotten triple back from them. You know, when I refer someone to someone I’m not looking for anything quid pro quo. I’m just doing it because I know that’s the best person to do it. I feel comfortable. I know they’re going to do a good job. But it comes back. And then they tell their friends or their friends. It’s just amazing how it works. It’s relationships and letting people know who you are and just getting out there. And I think also another thing is I have to say the website, I get a lot of work on the website, so I spend a lot of time and resources making sure that website is relevant and important, because I’ve gotten a lot of referrals from there.

Alay Yajnik: [00:21:39] So for attorneys who are not getting results from their website: what advice would you give to them about that?

Ivette Santaella: [00:21:46] I hired somebody who knows how to write marketing because I only write “legalese” and what I wrote was boring. This person changed it completely. Can I name the person?

Alay Yajnik: [00:21:59] Fine with me.

Ivette Santaella: [00:22:00] Oh, Andy McClure from Provisors. He is just a genius on wordsmithing and he knows how to market and public relations and he wrote it in a way that people can relate to it. They don’t want to hear more “legalese”. They want to know what I can do to help them. That’s what they want to hear. They don’t want to hear, “Oh, I do this, this, this. And I can provide that.” I mean, that’s boring. He also makes it interesting. He puts pictures in there that are fun. And I’m hoping one day to do like a YouTube thing. I’m still working on it. I’m, you know, making it relevant every day to see what the technology is, what the trends are. And having millennials in the office helps a lot because they’re up to date on all this technology stuff, because to be honest with you, I don’t understand Instagram, but it works.

Alay Yajnik: [00:22:50] Fantastic. So you’re really getting involved a lot of new things. That is wonderful to hear. You know, for attorneys that are just getting into business development or who are starting to take it seriously or more seriously, what advice would you give them?

Ivette Santaella: [00:23:04] You know, I have to say the networking. Going out, meeting people, website’s important, but quite frankly, if I didn’t have you, I don’t think I could have done it. I mean, you opened my eyes up to a lot of different areas that are important when you run your own business that I was not aware of. I mean, I’m good at practicing law, but setting up a business. I really didn’t have a clue. My my prior experience was in corporate America. I always worked for somebody and I did not realize what was involved. I don’t think I could have gotten through it. At first I was skeptical…”What’s a business coach going to tell me?”, you know, “I know it all” and this arrogant attitude. But boy, was I humbled. And the advice you’ve given me and the practices that I’m implementing from your advice is make a world of difference. I understand it better now. And if hadn’t helped me you helped me or given me that advice, I don’t think I could be successful. You used to tease me a lot because I didn’t know my numbers. I know my numbers now and I know why it’s important now to know my numbers. I know my numbers at the tip of my fingertips. I understand now why it’s so important.

Alay Yajnik: [00:24:17] Yes. Because you know exactly how your practice is doing.

Ivette Santaella: [00:24:20] You need to know that for cash flow reasons, for income reasons. You have to know what’s on top. You have to understand if your staff is productive enough. Where are you putting your marketing dollars? Are they making money for you or are they wasting money? So I track what I have a referral. Someone call. Would you please tell me where you heard of me? And if it was personal I’ll send them a thank you note with a coffee card. Or if it came through my website, then I know, “OK, fine. The website’s working and it seems to be OK”. I had no clue how to run a business, especially a law practice, and that’s a special kinds of business. And you really, really helped a lot.

Ivette Santaella: [00:25:03] The billing, how to bill a client. I have no idea. I would just “Oh, here you go.” You know, that is like bread and butter. That’s the heart of a business for at least for an attorney. It just everything of running a business. I mean, I couldn’t have done it without you, and I’m not just saying that because I’m kind of buttering you up because it’s your podcast. This is the absolute truth. I, I could not have done it. I’m hoping once I get the business settled to engage you again because I want to, you know, refresh myself and see what’s going on and get up to date information. But I would say get a good coach like Alay. Especially if you’re an attorney. Get someone who is really focused in that area and understands the practice and is keeping up to date on developments in that practice, which is what you do.

Alay Yajnik: [00:25:52] Well, thank you, I appreciate all the compliments, Ivette.

Ivette Santaella: [00:25:55] That’s the truth. It really is.

Alay Yajnik: [00:25:58] Thank you. I appreciate it. I can’t do anything, though, unless the person executes. And you’ve done a fantastic job of just putting in a ton of effort, a lot of energy and just building a lot of positive momentum for yourself, which is really cool to see.

Ivette Santaella: [00:26:15] Thank you. Well, I guess you have excellent ideas and they work. If you apply them, it works.

Alay Yajnik: [00:26:22] And, you know, you had a lot of options, right? You came from corporate law. You certainly could have gone back there. You could have joined and could still join if you wanted to, a larger law firm. But you enjoy being a solo and you enjoy being part of a small firm. So what do you really enjoy about about being a solo attorney?

Ivette Santaella: [00:26:41] I enjoy running my business the way I want to run a business. I make the decisions on how I interact with the clients, how I treat my staff, how my staff works. Having a good staff, is important, but also how you treat them is very, very important especially if you have good staff because they are critical to the operation of your business. To me that is super-important and it really paid off because my staff, they will jump one hundred ten percent for me without me even asking because I make them part of the business and they feel relevant. The planning, doing the budgets, keeping on top of your numbers, the marketing, the networking. I control that because I do it the way I feel is best for me based on the knowledge and information that I can see. And so it’s either it’s mine to win, to make a success, or it’s mine to fail. But it’s my business and I just love it. I always wanted to do it. But I never had the courage to let my sons finished college. And I’ve never been happier. I’m just loving what I do. And I have control of what I do.

Alay Yajnik: [00:27:53] That is wonderful to hear, and I’ve got a big old grin on my face. As you’re thinking about the future, the future is pretty bright for you. What really excites you about Santaella Legal going forward?

Ivette Santaella: [00:28:10] Well, opening up a new area of law, cannabis law, which is pretty much an extension of what I did in corporate America in terms of licensing, contract review, government compliance. I’ve done that before. The only difference is the subject matter is different. So it’s in a way going back to what I did before. I pretty much enjoyed that. And I think there’s a future in that. So I would like to be involved in trends or in areas before they come trends and they become very popular. I just see cannabis growing tremendously. In terms of the estate planning, the elder law. It’s an area that is necessary. I think it doesn’t matter if you’re wealthy or not wealthy. I think everybody needs some kind of estate plan because without some kind of legal documentation that allow someone to take care of you, you can’t take care of yourself. You’re going to have to go through a conservatorship. It costs tons of money and you have the courts involved. Believe me, you don’t want the courts involved in your life. You want to be in control of your life, you want to be in control of who was going to take care of you when you’re not well or manage your money when you’re not well. So I think people don’t understand the importance of planning. I find it interesting when I left corporate America, I was still in touch with a lot of my colleagues. A lot of them didn’t have an estate plan. I didn’t have an estate plan. I didn’t think it was important till after I went through that trauma with my mother. When after that, talking to…at reunions and they didn’t have estate plans. I mean, it’s just unbelievable. Everybody thinks lawyers should know all this stuff, but a lot of them don’t even think of it.

Alay Yajnik: [00:29:41] Yeah, people don’t because they’re so focused on the here and now. I worked in corporate Silicon Valley for about 17 years, and when I had my own business, that was the first time I heard about estate planning was when I actually had my own business.

Ivette Santaella: [00:29:58] I didn’t realize the importance of it until…if my mother had a power of attorney, which the cost is what? Very minimal. I wouldn’t have had to spend tens of thousands of dollars and getting a guardianship or conservatorship and having the court breathing down my neck every day of the year, I mean every day. And having to do these special accounting.s And if I didn’t do them right, I would be at risk of being in contempt of court. You don’t want the court system in your life. That’s why you might spend a little money now, but it’ll save you a ton of money, a ton of aggravation later on. So I think it’s a matter of educating people. So I try to do, you know, public speaking where I can. When someone invites me, I’m happy to come and talk about estate planning or elder law or whatever topic interests them. It’s just a lot of people aren’t aware. When you explain it to them, they’re like, “Oh, my God! I didn’t realize the relevancy of that.” Because I think they equate estate planning with death and people don’t like dealing with that. I think that’s one of reasons people shy away from it.

Alay Yajnik: [00:30:54] Yeah, it’s not the most pleasant subject in the world, certainly to think about.

Ivette Santaella: [00:30:59] It’s always not only a death, it’s also planning when you’re alive. If you’re incapacitated, people are living much, much longer. So that’s why you need to either get long term care insurance or have an estate plan. If not, you’re going to have to do MediCal planning. California has the most incredible medical laws that make it possible for you to be able to pay a nursing home where you’re charged anywhere on average from ten to fifteen thousand dollars a month. That’s twice the cost of a mortgage. It’s just unbelievable. It could really bankrupt you. So it’s just planning. Because if you don’t plan, believe me, it does catch up.

Alay Yajnik: [00:31:34] Ivette, I love your passion. Thank you so much for being on the show. Really appreciate all the insights you brought.

Ivette Santaella: [00:31:41] Oh, thank you, Alay. Thank you so much for asking me. It was very enjoyable. And I like catching up with you and talking to you.

Alay Yajnik: [00:31:47] It’s always a pleasure. And that’s Ivette Santaella of Santaella Legal Services. She provides estate planning, conservatorship and elder law to California for clients in California and also now around the world. So congratulations on your success. Thank you.

Alay Yajnik: [00:32:06] And that’s a wrap. To get more episodes, webinars and free stuff, visit My name is Alay Yajnik. Thank you for listening. And remember, there is a rainmaker inside everyone, including you.

Post Share
Scroll to Top