Laurel and Riley Carbone Kern founded Tallgrass Estate Planning, LLP in 2016 in their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their goal was to create a different kind of law firm - one that reaches out to people who are routinely overlooked by traditional law firms or people who are hesitant to work with traditional firms. Tallgrass Estate Planning has grown into a full service, home-based, family-oriented law firm that focuses exclusively on estate planning and elder law.
So, what is estate planning and elder law? For many people, these terms seem impersonal and removed from their lives. "After all," they (incorrectly) think, "only wealthy people have estates, and that's not me." The truth is, an "estate" just means your stuff, your body, and your values - no matter how little or much your stuff is worth. Because everyone has an estate, everyone needs to have an estate plan.
An estate plan answers important questions that apply to everything. Questions like: If something happens to you, who's in charge of paying your mortgage or other bills? Who's getting the kids to school? Who's talking to your doctor about what to do next? How can you protect your assets if you're dealing with creditors or lawsuits or other financial difficulties? If your parents need help paying bills, do you have the authority to do that? That's estate planning.
Elder law is a broad term that focuses on legal issues related to aging. Our elder law practice is focused on guardianship of incapacitated adults, Medicaid asset protection, VA benefits, and crisis Medicaid planning.
Our estate planning and elder law practice involves the following tools and strategies:
In short, no matter who you are or what you have, we help you answer critical questions about who is in charge of you and your stuff during health, disability, and death, as well as who benefits from what you have.
Because estate planning is an intensely personal process, Laurel and Riley have created an informal but thorough conversational process to discover clients' needs, priorities, and values, and then design and execute customized estate plans and services. We call this three-step process Discovery, Design, and Delivery. Throughout the process, Tallgrass Estate Planning, LLP is committed to the core principles of education, hospitality, and inclusion. Your assets, your priorities, and your concerns are different from those of other people, so your estate plan will be different from those of other people, but everyone needs a plan.
Riley Kern is a husband, daddy, idealist, and attorney, in that order. He is the founder and owner of Tallgrass Estate Planning where he is a managing partner with his wife, Laurel Carbone. Their home-based law firm allows Riley and Laurel to blend life and work seamlessly, spending their time and energy on each other, their children, and their clients as organically as possible. Riley is frequently invited to speak on trust planning, special needs planning, and elder law matters, and he has served as the chair of the Estate Planning section of the Tulsa County Bar Association. Riley serves on several Tulsa-area non-profit boards of directors. He is an amateur musician, a hack woodworker, an inconsistent hiker, and a book lover.
Laurel Carbone is a managing partner of Tallgrass Estate Planning. She is passionate about using her position as an attorney for community service and justice. She believes estate planning is for everyone, and not only for those who are concerned about building generational wealth or planning for tax efficiency. She loves working with families who are planning for special needs, and she thrives when giving a voice to those who are often overlooked in traditional estate planning. As a native of Washington state, she is the catalyst behind Tallgrass Northwest. More than any other attorney at Tallgrass, Laurel has an affinity for handling sensitive or contested trust, estate, and guardianship litigation. As a mother, Laurel is committed to providing rich experiences for her children and modeling service and self-reliance. She is flower gardener, a runner, and a DIY-project lover, and she is preparing for a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon hike.
Marium joined the Tallgrass team after 13 years of administering an estate planning law firm. She brings her wealth of knowledge and experience to helping Tallgrass manage our office, growing caseload, and client relationships. Marium is a proud Palestinian-American who is passionate about giving back and serving the community. She currently serves on the board for Muslims4Mercy, a non-profit, focusing primarily on providing food assistance to children and the underserved in Tulsa and the surrounding areas. She also coaches boys’ basketball for the non-profit AAU basketball organization, WeRone. Marium enjoys all things fitness, cooking and volunteering for local animal shelters in the area.
Julie came to us with over 20 years of experience working in Tulsa’s legal community. She holds the honor of being the only non-attorney to ever receive the Tulsa County Bar Association President’s Award. As Tallgrass’s first employee her job description included “child wrangling” and her “office” was our dining room table. Having spent her 20s as a poet punk rocker who lived all over the U.S. and worked in music promotion, she has many great stories about her interactions with musicians, including hanging out with Bono and babysitting for Ozzy. She is a strong advocate for issues involving social injustice, discrimination, and animal rights; a passionate listener; and believes knowledge is power. She thinks Batman is the coolest superhero EVER; collects tin robots; annoys her cats; loves diner food, and still hopes to someday marry Paul McCartney.