Sara Ruml’s word was candidate. She was in the third grade and the youngest contestant in the county spelling bee that year. They were down to ten finalists, and the spectators, which included Sara’s mother, were on the edge of their seats.
“Candidate,” young Sara recited alone under the spotlight. “C-A-N-I-D-A-T-E. Candidate.”
“I’m sorry, that is incorrect,” the moderator advised.
“No, it’s not,” Sara rebutted.
And thus began an impromptu public debate between Sara and the moderator. The back and forth lasted more than ten minutes, and it wasn’t until spelling bee officials scrambled to intervene and play back an audio recording of Sara’s response that she reluctantly exited the stage.
It was at that moment Sara’s mother, slouching low into her seat beneath the whispering concerns of the audience, formed a brim above her eyes with her hand and speculated that her daughter might one day become an attorney.
Sara’s mother was right, of course. And there’s a long story about how and why Sara went into law school. And how she eventually joined a boutique estate planning practice founded by her husband, Carter, and then how they both eventually merged with Graydon. But the story that really defines Sara starts with a piano in Edgewood, Kentucky, and a little boy and his dog.
One of Sara’s most treasured activities is when she places her one-year-old son Andrew onto her lap in front of a Kawai upright piano. It sits in her parent’s living room and is the same piano she played growing up. A Great Pyrenees rests on the floor nearby as she raises the fallboard to reveal the keys.
To the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb, they sing:
Andrew has a big white dog
Big white dog
Big white dog
Andrew has a big white dog
Andorra is her name
“As we play together, we talk about the notes and hit the different beats. We clap and dance, and it’s all about the foundations. It is a gift to see your child love something that you love. I know he won’t remember the details right now, but if he associates the music with feeling comfortable and loved, then perhaps I’ve done some good.”
Sara has been playing piano since she was three years old and is classically trained. She says playing piano is a life skill.
“With most other instruments, you only play one rhythm. But with piano, one hand is doing one thing and the other hand is doing something else. I think it offers good training in multitasking and also how you can approach an issue. Piano trains you to hear different things and put them together to make something bigger than each separate part.”
Estate planning can be a deeply intimate practice, especially when it comes to administrating wills after a death. Managing the emotions of everyone involved while staying in tune with the law certainly requires a set of capable hands, so to speak.
“We get to celebrate with clients in happy times, like when they welcome a new child into the world. We also get to help people after the loss of a loved one, and both situations are gifts,” Sara said. “It is incredibly rewarding to work with clients through generations and to be a resource that can provide peace of mind and support.”
Sara helps clients decide how to best use and arrange their wealth to strengthen and sustain the people and causes most important to them, working to understand clients’ needs and objectives to create tailored estate planning solutions. Her approach is to listen first, to answer questions, and to empower clients to make confident choices to best serve each client’s unique goals. Her clients are parents, grandparents, friends, business owners, charitable donors, people of faith, collectors, creators, scholars, and everyone in between—thoughtful estate planning helps people at every stage of life, whether your fortune is modest or millions, and Sara works with each client to achieve a personalized, uncomplicated estate planning experience.
Sara also works extensively on probate and trust administration issues, working closely with private and corporate executors and trustees. Her litigation background offers clients perspective on the value of pursuing non-probate options, while her experience in real estate helps clients to achieve seamless transfers of residential and commercial real estate. Sara knows that experiencing the loss of a loved one is often a sad and stressful time, and her aim is always to make a difficult time a little easier by helping clients navigate legal issues with active communication and support.
Sara and her husband Carter live in Mariemont in a house full of kids and one very large, fluffy dog. A graduate of Duke University and the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law, she is well-positioned to have detailed discussions about college basketball. Sara is an avid reader, an enthusiastic traveler, and can frequently be found either cooking a new recipe or working on a home improvement project.