Saint Louis University,
B.A., Organizational Studies, Psychology minor, summa cum laude
National Association of Legal Assistants
member since 2006
Thompson Coburn LLP
Senior Paralegal, 2022-Present
Private Client Legal Assistant Analyst, 2021-2022
Draneas & Huglin LLC
Thompson Coburn LLP
Practice Area Assistant, 2005-2016
Legal Secretary, 1998-2005
Law Office of David M. Williams
Bookkeeper and Legal Secretary, 1995-1997
Office Manager and Bookkeeper, 1981-1995
Terra Resources, Inc.
Team Secretary, 1979-1980
Dena has experience in estate planning and estate/trust administration, along with experience in general business and corporate law.
Estate/Trust Administration: Dena meets with attorneys and clients to gather initial information to identify probate versus non-probate assets. She drafts documents to commence probate proceedings, if necessary, and calendars probate filing due dates. She acts as a liaison between the attorney and the Probate Court in filing documents and fulfilling Court requirements. She coordinates with out-of-state attorneys to commence ancillary proceedings, if necessary. Along with the attorney she makes a preliminary analysis of estate tax return requirements and drafts estate tax returns where required. She arranges and coordinates with appraisers for any appraisals necessary, and attends to other valuation matters. She files life insurance claims. Dena prepares schedules and required forms to sell or transfer probate and non-probate assets to beneficiaries, along with identifying and valuing trust assets to coordinate transfer of assets into downstream trusts.
Estate Planning: Dena drafts estate planning documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other supporting documentation. She participates in client meetings with attorneys and works with clients to assist with funding of trusts. She contacts financial advisors, trust companies, banks and insurance companies to obtain and complete documents necessary to retitle assets owned. She drafts deeds for re-titling of real estate, along with preparing stock certificates for closely held corporate stock, and other re-titling documentation. She assists with gathering information and preparing client gift tax return filings when necessary.
Corporate/Business: Dena drafts entity creation documents and maintains corporate records including the preparation of annual minutes and ownership ledgers and ownership documents. She researches and prepares required documents to register entities in various states and coordinates annual state and taxing authority reporting requirements.
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