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We love stories that bring St. Pete natives home. Melissa Williams grew up in St. Pete, but moved away to get her bachelors and J.D. at the University of Florida. After a few years of working in Central Florida, Williams and her husband found their way home. In 2016, she founded her own practice focused on Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Probate Law.

Years in Tampa Bay

I grew up in St. Petersburg and left for college and law school. I returned to the area in 2016 to start my own law firm and raise my children closer to family.

Hustle (job)

Attorney, business owner, wife and mother

What do you do?  

I run my own boutique estate planning and elder law firm in St. Petersburg. We cater to families that need guidance on how to navigate and plan for the possibilities of incapacity and death. We also represent disabled veterans in obtaining veterans disability compensation through the VA appeals process.

Why do you do it?

I am passionate about helping people create plans for their futures that foster peace of mind even when they are faced with the challenges of incapacity or death. I also have a strong connection with veterans, because my grandfather served in the Korean War. It brings me immense joy to fight for veterans' rights to receive VA disability compensation for disabilities they received while serving our country.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

I worked for a medium-sized law firm in Central Florida and managed their location in The Villages. My husband, Freddy, was hired as the CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast in Pinellas County, and that was the catalyst for us to move our family back to my hometown. Making the decision to open my own firm came easily after managing an office for my previous firm, and it gave me the ability to perfect my processes to create a boutique firm that focuses on client satisfaction and well-being.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

Many people think that you have to be poor to receive Medicaid benefits for nursing home care. My firm helps people who have assets qualify to receive Medicaid benefits so their family can use the extra assets to improve the nursing home care they are receiving.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

I love the law, applying it to my clients' circumstances, and arguing the law to get my clients the best results. Marketing does not come as easy to me, so I am constantly trying to learn more about how to market effectively.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Know your value and stick to it.

More Hustle

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