The founder of Hatley Law Group APC, Rod Hatley, began his journey to becoming an estate planning attorney with a devastating, drawn-out seven-year probate.
Rod’s father had been ill for a while before he died. Though Rod knew that his father needed to set up a trust and undertake additional advanced planning to prepare for his eventual passing, his father could not bear the thought of parting with legal title to the assets he had spent his life accumulating. As a result of this lack of preparation, it took Rod and his sister seven years to get through probate in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
Rod began his legal career working in personal injury litigation and then for the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, first as a Criminal Defense Counsel and Legal Assistance Attorney and then as a Staff Judge Advocate and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. During this time, he received the Navy and Marine Corp Commendation Medal two times.
In 1995, based on his experience with his father’s seven-year probate, Rod decided he wanted to learn more about tax law and to find out the best way to ensure that family wealth wouldn’t be devastated by confiscatory estate taxes and the costs and delays of probate. After coming off of active duty in the JAG Corps, Rod pursued a Master of Laws from the University of San Diego School of Law’s acclaimed graduate tax program and shifted into estate planning, trust, and probate law. Rod is licensed to practice in California and his home state of Tennessee.
When he isn’t busy with his practice, Rod enjoys scuba diving (he is open water certified), snorkeling, and surfing (which he does very badly) in San Diego. He is a fan of Mid-Century Modern architecture and volunteers his time to the American Cancer Society Community Leadership Council and the Nice Guys San Diego charity.
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