“You learn a lot about someone and their family when you’re drafting estate planning documents,” Kelsy Sisler says. “It’s rewarding to help people have some sense of peace.”
In her practice, Kelsy handles estate planning, trusts and wills, guardianships and conservatorships, tax research, and tax returns. “I feel like people are a lot more at peace knowing what’s going to happen with their kids, their assets, and their family businesses,” she says.
Kelsy’s parents always believed she would make a good attorney. “My parents would tell you that I can argue with a wall,” she says with a smile. Kelsy took a little longer to find her path. “I changed my major three times over the course of my four years in college.” But two weeks into her first business law course, she knew law school was her next step.
With degrees in finance and accounting, Kelsy found her niche in her first year of law school. A property law class inspired her to take as many tax and estate planning classes as possible.
As an estate planning attorney, Kelsy knows relationships are key. She wants clients to feel comfortable and confident in her abilities. “I want them to be comfortable enough to be open and explain all of their thoughts and wishes and feelings, as well as confident that I can draft documents that capture all of that.”
That’s not always a straightforward task. “You have to be careful to make sure what you’ve drafted accurately reflects what they want to happen,” Kelsy says. “If you have one word off or you slightly misword something, you can really impact what happens.” Kelsy works hard to think creatively and address even unique client requests. “You have to go through everything with a fine-tooth comb to make sure that you’ve put down all the important things,” she says.
Active listening helps her understand and achieve her clients’ goals. As a tutor for athletes at Iowa State University, she realized the importance of adapting to a person’s needs. “I could have 20 or 30 different athletes, and every single one would have to learn in a different way,” she says. “To adapt to that and really listen to what they needed was something I could easily translate into working with clients.”
Outgoing and personable, Kelsy cares deeply about people. “I listen to other people and make sure I know what their needs are,” she says. “Estate planning and guardianship and conservatorship work are really rewarding. I love to learn about the people and hear all their stories.”
Her own story extends beyond the workplace, of course. She admits to being obsessed with her dogs. An avid golfer since age 3, Kelsy was a state champion in high school and continues to play with her colleagues, husband, brothers, and others. “It’s a fun way to get outside and socialize,” she says. “It’s a great skill. You can do it forever.”