Happy 70th Birthday, Phil!

On June 9th, nationally renowned estate planning attorney and Ultimate Estate Planner President, Philip Kavesh, will be celebrating a milestone birthday—70 years!

We caught up with Phil and thought we’d share some reflections from Phil about turning 70.

Q: What are you up to these days?

Phil: I’m what I call “semi-retired” (although I am sure my dear wife would dispute that description!). I don’t meet with law firm clients anymore or do the legal work. But I’m still active in my law firm in some key ways. I help out with important management decisions (including marketing) and regularly meet with and mentor my associate attorneys on how to handle complex cases that come up.  I really do enjoy mentoring and now a good deal of my time goes to helping train, mentor and work with my fellow estate planning attorney colleagues through The Ultimate Estate Planner. Fortunately, I do now have more time to go on travel adventures with my wife and spend time with my children and my grandsons.

Phil at our recent event in Dallas, training attorneys and their staff.

Q: Anything still on your bucket list that you want to cross off?

Phil: I’ve always wanted to take a round-the-world trip!  A combination of flying, cruising and land travel for a couple of months or more. There are so many places I’ve never been to and would love to visit on every continent. Too many to name here. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do this trip in the next few years.

Q: What would you tell your younger attorney self?

Phil: Listen to your intuition or “gut feelings”.  I’ve made too many decisions where, looking back, I should have followed my heart rather than my mind.  And I’d tell myself to be more patient and flexible. Sometimes nature just has to take its course and things cannot be forced to happen on your own imposed timeline or exactly according to your plan.  Oh, and buy the darn office building!  The amount of money I’ve effectively wasted through renting commercial space for over 40 years makes me cringe!

Q: How do you feel about turning 70?

Phil: 70 is really just a number to me, other than the fact that I’m about to receive my first Social Security check!  Thankfully, I still have my good health and wits about me, and hopefully can continue to help others and enjoy life for many years to come!

Q: Professionally speaking, what would you say is your greatest accomplishment?

Phil celebrating with Kristina and Kirsten

Phil: I am most proud to say that I built two professional businesses – – my law practice and The Ultimate Estate Planner – – which pretty much run on their own on a daily basis without me, which affords me the ability to take time off for other pursuits and not stress too much about whether the employees and other overhead expenses will be paid.  I really credit that to the amount of time and attention I’ve spent on mentoring those key people who are running each company – – the two paralegals managing my law practice (who have been with me for 32 and 27 years), my two associate attorneys (who have been with me for 18 and 16 years), and my key people at The Ultimate Estate Planner, Kristina (who has been with me for 17 years) and my assistant, Kirsten (who has been with me for 7 years).  To see how each of those individuals has grown personally and professionally over the years, that has given me the most joy.

Also, when I think about how many lives both businesses positively impact, it’s pretty mind-blowing!   When I think about the tens of thousands of people we’ve helped with the estate planning services of my law firm and how we’ve helped other estate planning attorneys all over the country develop thriving practices which, in turn, help many thousands of their clients…WOW!


  1. Richard Hughes

    Happy 70th, Phill. I’m just a few ahead of you.
    I’m curious. Assuming you are still conducting seminars, how do you make the transition with your audience when you tell them you are not handling cases because your associates are doing all of it?

    • Kristina Schneider

      Hi Richard! I will be sure to pass along the birthday wishes to Phil. For years, when Phil did the seminars, he would promote the firm throughout the presentation and he mentions the other attorneys at the beginning of the presentation. He never really addresses outright that they aren’t meeting with him and when he pushes them to book their appointment, he promotes a “free 90-minute consultation with one of the attorneys at the law firm”. During Q&A, if anyone asks if they can meet with him, he explains how he no longer takes client meetings. He has also used a $500 consultation fee to meet with him, which usually dissuades them from wanting to meet with him and taking on the free consultation with another attorney in the firm. Right now, Phil has his senior associate, Peter, doing the seminars and this is not an issue. More people prefer to meet with Peter, which is the nature of the seminar (as you know). But that works out okay too, because Phil’s other associate is tied up with a lot of estate administration/probate matters. I hope this helps!

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