Lessons from Andrew Wyeth Country

By: Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M. – Principal

During a recent trip to Monhegan Island, Maine, I was struck not only by the stunning beauty of the tiny place, but also by how the constantly changing weather affected everything I did during my stay; and how the Island’s lighthouse, a brown stone structure located atop the highest and most central point, served as the actual and figurative anchor of the community, two things I found remarkable. Although the lighthouse did not seem particularly large, nor its beam particularly bright, it was quite literally an omnipresent fixture – necessary to alert and guide mariners to safety amidst the vast and deep waters off the Atlantic coast, while binding everyone within its proximity and scope, visually and psychologically, to the land and geographic area, leaving no room for doubt about location, direction, routine, or even the expectations for each new day. The lighthouse was there every morning, afternoon, and evening; in sunshine, rain, or fog. Even weeks after returning home, my mind still returns to this small lighthouse.

Client legal education and client care are themes representing part of Elville and Associates’ practice philosophy; and, like the Monhegan Island Lighthouse, these concepts serve as actual and figurative anchors for our Firm, our Client Community, and our Advisor Community – guiding our clients and their families during constantly changing and tumultuous times – providing a visual, psychological, and legal reference point for family members, advisors, and trust fiduciaries. Elville and Associates is a client legal education and client care pioneer, innovator, and thought leader in Maryland estate planning, elder law, and special needs planning. The following non-exclusive summary will provide guidance and insight into how the Firm accomplishes the foregoing, and consequently how it strives to carry out its mission and purpose:


Vision Statement

To become the leading estate planning, elder law, and special needs planning Firm in Maryland through the relentless pursuit of and adherence to the fundamental Firm values of educating and counseling clients and the constant recognition that the Firm exists to provide solutions to our clients’ problems and to exceed their expectations; in an environment that encourages and facilitates constant learning, improvement, and professional advancement for all employees, and where all members of the Firm are respected and encouraged to utilize and develop their own unique talents and abilities.

Mission Statement
To provide practical solutions to our clients’ problems through counseling, education, and superior legal- technical knowledge.
Philosophy Statement
Elville and Associates engages clients in a multi-step educational process to ensure that estate, elder law, and special needs planning works from inception, throughout lifetime, and at death. Clients are encouraged to take advantage of the Planning Team Concept for leading-edge, customized planning. The education of clients and their families through counseling and superior legal-technical knowledge is the practical mission of Elville and Associates.

• Elville and Associates is a purpose-driven firm with a commitment to client legal education and a “caring for clients model”.
• Elville and Associates’ Mission, Vision, and Purpose statements, developed at the time of the Firm’s inception, are framed and displayed throughout our offices, serving as a constant reminder to all employees.
• Elville and Associates has a dedicated asset alignment coordinator.
• Elville and Associates is one of the only law firms in Maryland to offer its clients a comprehensive, exclusive, education-focused, Client Care Program (CCP), and was only the 42nd law firm in the U.S. to attend the Client Maintenance Academy, now Client Care Academy in Boston, Massachusetts.
• Elville and Associates does not charge for initial estate planning consultations, which are substantial meetings that serve as the beginning conversations for the broader planning road ahead, as well as the starting point for our comprehensive educational process.
• At Elville and Associates, clients are provided with a wide range of planning choices, with our Legacy™, Self-Direct™, and Protect™ programs.
• All attorneys and staff at Elville and Associates are committed to the highest standards of customer service, and to providing clients with a unique client experience.
• Elville and Associates is committed to collaboration with other professionals, including Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), financial advisors, insurance professionals, geriatric care managers and medical professionals, and others.
• Elville and Associates hosts an Annual Client Event, open to all clients and their families.
• Elville and Associates publishes The Elville Benefactor, a custom bi-annual newsletter frequently recognized as one of the best newsletters of its kind.
• Elville and Associates offers clients premier services in estate and trust administration, and trustee services, through its Waypoint Trust Group™.
• Elville and Associates is committed to the community at large through its support of the arts in general, and through its work with The Elville Center for the Creative Arts, a non-profit, 501(c)(3).
• Elville and Associates is committed to the future through its documented succession and transition plan, ensuring that clients and their families will be cared for at the time of plan maturity. Like the Monhegan Island Lighthouse, the Mission, purpose-driven people (attorneys and staff) at Elville and Associates are committed to serving as beacons for our clients and the community.

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