Peggy Hoyt is a Founding Partner at the Law Offices of Hoyt and Bryan, where she serves individuals and families who want to create a lasting legacy for loved ones and their pets. She is also the Founder of Animal Care Trust USA, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping loved pets in loving homes. Peggy is a nationally recognized attorney, animal advocate, and host of the podcast All My Children Wear Fur Coats. She is the author of Amazon bestsellers “101 Ways to F$$k up Your Estate” and “All My Children Wear Fur Coats: How to Leave a Legacy for Your Pet.”
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Peggy Hoyt talks about educating pet parents on pet trust solutions for lifetime care
- Building your practice on an educational platform to connect with your community
- Peggy explains exceeding expectations by building a reputation through marketing interactions
- How can books be great for third-party credibility?
In this episode…
Your furry friends are always there for you and you want to ensure they’re taken care of if something unexpected happens to you. What legal action can you take to prepare for your pet’s future after you’re gone?
Peggy Hoyt knew she wanted to offer legal assistance to pet owners. For those who consider pets family members, leaving plans for them undocumented in the event you pass can leave your pet in a compromising position. With her experience in estate planning, Peggy helps pet parents generate a plan for their fur family after they are gone. Peggy believes that helping others goes beyond legal planning. By building a reputation of trust through marketing practices, you can aid the community and the pets residing in it better.
In this episode of 15 Minutes, Chad Franzen sits down with Peggy Hoyt, Founding Partner of The Law Offices of Hoyt and Bryan, to discuss the niche of including your pet’s future in your end-of-life planning. Peggy talks about how her passions built her career, why education is a powerful tool, and how she helps clients make decisions about the future.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Michael Renfro on LinkedIn
- Gladiator Law Marketing
- Peggy Hoyt on LinkedIn
- The Law Offices of Hoyt and Bryan
- Animal Care Trust USA
- All My Children Wear Fur Coats Podcast
- “101 Ways to F$$k up Your Estate” by Peggy Hoyt
- “All My Children Wear Fur Coats: How to Leave a Legacy for Your Pet” by Peggy Hoyt
- “Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way To Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life” by Spencer Johnson
- National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys
- Rick Randall on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential.
To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition.
You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know, but likely don’t.
Chad Franzen 0:12
Hi, Chad Franzen. Here I am one of the hosts of 15 Minutes where we talk with top notch law firms and lawyers about what it takes to grow a successful law practice. This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, delivering tailor made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential to have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI your law firm needs to have a better website and better content. Gladiator Law Marketing uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and decades of experience to outperform the competition. To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com where you can schedule a free marketing consultation. Peggy Hoyt is a nationally recognized attorney, animal advocate, author and host of the podcast All My Children Wear Fur Coats. She’s best known for her books, “All My Children Wear Fur Coats” and “101 Ways to Eff Up Your Estate”. She is the founder and CEO of Animal Care Trust USA, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping loved pets in loving homes. Hey, Peggy, welcome to the show. Thanks for joining me.
Peggy Hoyt 1:14
Thanks for having me, Chad. It’s great to be here.
Chad Franzen 1:16
Hey, before we get into your legal practice, tell me about your advocacy, advocacy for animals and kind of what that stems from.
Peggy Hoyt 1:23
Well, I was lucky enough to grow up as the daughter of what was then the President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. So I grew up in animal advocacy and welfare and figured out a way to drag that into my law practice and make it part of my everyday journey.
Chad Franzen 1:41
Awesome. So you’re the CEO of as I mentioned, animal trust care, Animal Care Trust USA, tell me more about how that got started and what you guys do.
Peggy Hoyt 1:52
So a few years ago, many at this point, I started educating people about how to create pet trusts a trust for the benefit of their pets, so that if something happened to them, either they died or became disabled, that their pets would have a secure and loving home. And from that I created Animal Care Trust USA, which is the nonprofit arm of that, so that we can continue to educate pet parents offer low cost pet trust solutions. And pet trustee services, including help was helping people find forever homes for their loved pets.
Chad Franzen 2:27
Yeah, what’s kind of an example of a solution that you guys might find?
Peggy Hoyt 2:31
Well, we offer two different kinds of kind of pre prepared trust. One is called the act for pets community pet Trust, which is a trust that you join rather than one that you create for yourself. And then we have the Forever loved pet Trust, which is one that you can personalize. And many of our clients, however, choose what we call the Custom option, where they’re actually custom creating a trust for the benefit of their pets.
Chad Franzen 2:59
Hey, tell me a little bit about your podcasts or your podcast, All My Children Wear Fur Coats? What’s that
Peggy Hoyt 3:05
all about? So that’s really educating pet parents about all aspects of pet ownership. And it’s not. It’s not targeted towards dog owners, or cat owners or horse owners, just people who love pets. We’ve talked a lot to charities, we talked to lots of people who are creating innovative products. We talk to a lot of health professionals in the animal world. It’s a it’s really a cornucopia of a lot of different topics, but all of them related to how much we love our pets and how we can improve the lives of our pets.
Chad Franzen 3:39
How can you know I know a lot of people who might be listening are probably animal lovers or especially lovers of pets. How can people find out more information about both your podcast and your nonprofit and then maybe, maybe figure out a way to help.
Peggy Hoyt 3:54
So you can find out more about the nonprofit by visiting actforpets, a-c-t-forpets.org. And the podcast can be found anywhere where you get your favorite podcasts. And it’s called All My Children Wear Fur Coats.
Chad Franzen 4:09
Okay, awesome. Hey, now back to our kind of our regular topic, the legal industry. How did you get started in it?
Peggy Hoyt 4:17
So I started my career really as a financial advisor and worked with a lot of estate planning attorneys in that role and then determine one day that I thought I might like to jump over to the other side of the desk. And I decided to go to law school actually, I went to undergrad with a guy who I knew had gone to law school and I said, You know what, if that guy can go to law school, I think I can go to law school. But I knew when I went to law school that I wanted to focus in the area of estate planning, since that really went hand in hand with my interest in helping people with their financial lives. And since our pets are part of our family, the whole estate planning and the pets at all just It came together very nicely. And and now I attract a lot of clients who are in fact, pet lovers and pet parents.
Chad Franzen 5:08
So I normally ask people at what point was there some sort of like, Aha moment where they knew they wanted to become an attorney. It doesn’t sound like for you, it was like, what you were good at defending defending a case when you were 12, or something like that. What did you realize you wanted to become an attorney.
Peggy Hoyt 5:25
So that really was part of that financial journey and knowing that I could maybe do more to help people on the legal side, helping them create plans that worked for themselves and for their families. And I really became a lawyer as a second career. So I didn’t start out wanting to be a lawyer, and didn’t finish law school till I was in my 30s. Actually,
Chad Franzen 5:48
I was I was going to law school, you know, kind of maybe for more adulthood age, like mid adulthood age,
Peggy Hoyt 5:54
it was interesting, because I thought I was going to be like the grandmother of the law school, one of the oldest people there. And as it turned out, I really was not the oldest person there, there was a doctor and his wife who were also attending, and they were in their 50s. At the time. Interestingly, they also went into estate planning and elder law, and are in my community. And so I’ve been friends with them for many, many years now. So not one event that triggered it. But it’s been a wonderful journey, and started out at a big law firm and then migrated to a smaller law firm before starting my own law firm. And I really do have to credit the book, Who Moved My Cheese with giving me that courage to to make the jump from being an employee to being a business owner.
Chad Franzen 6:47
What was it about that that book that kind of gave you the final, the final push?
Peggy Hoyt 6:52
Well, it was that motto of the book, which is, you know, what would you do if you knew you could not fail? Basically?
Chad Franzen 7:00
All right, yeah. Great. That’s good advice for anybody, whether it’s legal profession or not. Hey, so tell me a little bit more about Hoyt and Brian LLC. That’s the name of your law firm. How did it kind of come about?
Peggy Hoyt 7:13
So we are located in Central Florida, but my partner Randy, Brian and I, we actually met at in a state planning conference in Denver, Colorado. And we were each wearing name tags that said, Winter Park, Florida. And so we got to chatting and we became friends. And when it became time for me to think about starting my own practice, I called up Randy and I said, Hey, I’m going to start my own law firm. Do you want to come with me? And he said, Well, you go first, and then I’ll join you if it all goes well. And it did. And we have now been practicing together almost 24 years.
Chad Franzen 7:51
Wow, that is that is awesome. So what you know, was that when you first started, what was it? What were the early days, like you said it went? Well, it went well enough for him to do decide to join you. Over the early days, like?
Peggy Hoyt 8:04
Well, I have always been passionate about marketing. And so I was able to spend a lot of my time doing marketing. And I was generating a lot of clients, but didn’t seem to have the time to get the work done. So by the end of the day, when I thought I would get the work done, I was too tired to do the work. And so that’s really what prompted me to call Randy and say, Hey, I really need somebody who can help me get the work done. And we have always built our practice on an educational platform. So we subscribe to a theory that says Educate to motivate. And to this day, we probably teach anywhere from three to seven workshops, public workshops on a monthly basis. And we’ve done that month in and month out for almost 24 years now.
Chad Franzen 8:55
Well, so would you say that your your familiarity and your enjoyment of marketing really helped you maybe compared with other attorneys, I’ve talked to other people who say, you know, I learned everything I needed to know at the law school regarding the law, but when it came to, you know, running other aspects of the business, I realized I was a bit lost. It doesn’t sound like that was the case with you
Peggy Hoyt 9:14
know, I think my interest in marketing and my passion for that has really helped I’ve since that time, I’ve done a lot of educating of lawyers about how to do marketing for their practices. And I feel like you have to always be marketing. And everything you do is marketing. I I don’t know how we could do anything but because I always say marketing starts in the parking lot. You know, what do people see when they get out of their car? What did they experience the minute they open your front door? What did they see? What did they smell what did they hear? Our office is a little unique because we have dogs in our office. And our clients actually love coming to our office because they love our dog As many of them say, can we bring our dog. And so we often have dog parties at the office as well.
Chad Franzen 10:06
What types of marketing kind of helped you, you know, get your name out there when you were when you were first getting going.
Peggy Hoyt 10:13
So when I was a financial advisor that was back in the Dale days of you know, smiling and dialing so cold calling a lot of people and I hated doing that. So I started doing educational workshops, even as a financial advisor, continued that into my legal career. And I think just by doing them consistently, over and over and over again, got our name out into the community, we started meeting a lot of people. And then we did a really good job of following up by sending out a regular newsletter, those folks, lots of email blasts, lots of social media interaction, lots of we’re out there in the community. So the one thing that we really appreciate is that if, if we’re given as a recommendation to somebody, usually, it’ll be more than one person who will say, you should contact the Law Offices of white and Brian. And that always makes us feel really good that we’ve done a good job talking to the financial advisors, the Certified Public Accountants and the other financial professionals in our community. And then just building that reputation by always trying to exceed our clients expectations.
Chad Franzen 11:35
Sounds like things have been going pretty well over the past 24 years. But has there been that kind of a maybe a big pitfall or a mistake that you had to learn from or that you find to be a valuable experience? Now looking back on it?
Peggy Hoyt 11:47
Yes, many years ago, we actually made a mistake, where we thought we only wanted to take a certain kind of client. And we tried it for a while. And it did not really work out to our advantage. And so we had to pivot. And we decided it was more important for us to meet clients where they were, rather than trying to get clients to conform to a particular type of client. Now we do have a process that all of our clients participate in. But we represent clients from all walks of life doesn’t matter whether you’re young or whether you’re old, whether you’re rich, whether you’re you know, middle income. And basically what we tell people when they say what kind of client are you looking for? We say we’re looking for clients that appreciate professional advice, and love their family. Okay, that’s really the only two criteria.
Chad Franzen 12:49
That’s great. Is there a moment looking back that you’re particularly proud of like a like a big success, like career highlights something like that?
Peggy Hoyt 12:58
Oh, gosh, there’s probably been a lot, I guess, for me, was really kind of being quoted in The Wall Street Journal and being asked to appear on CNN financial news, those two things.
Chad Franzen 13:11
Well, what was that? What was that all about?
Peggy Hoyt 13:13
That really was related to the pet trust aspect, people wanting to plan for their pets. And I think it’s such an unusual approach for lawyers to lead with a will help you plan for your pets. And oh, yeah, we can help you plan for your kids to
Chad Franzen 13:30
that is awesome. Who are some of your mentors, and if you can take it back on maybe their best piece of advice for you, and we’d like to share it, that’d be awesome.
Peggy Hoyt 13:40
So mentors, really, it was an organization rather than a person. And so for both Randy and I, we would have to give a lot of credit to the national network of estate planning attorneys, which really was the organization that trained us that taught us a lot of our protocols that gave us the confidence that we needed to go out and, and become expert in our field. And so Rick Randall is one of the leading guys there. So I would say that Rick was a very big influence in our lives. And he taught us really three things. The first was educate, motivate. The second was, truth sells, so always tell the truth. And the third tenant was use third party credibility, to build your reputation. And those have really been the three tenants that we built our practice on.
Chad Franzen 14:35
You, you have a lot going on. You’ve you’ve written books, you’ve got a nonprofit that you’re the CEO of if get your own law practice. What’s kind of like a, what are some daily rituals that you find particularly important, or what is a typical day?
Peggy Hoyt 14:49
Well, it’s funny that you ask because I also have horses in addition to having dogs and cats. So I start every day at the barn with a pitchfork in my hand. So I sometimes say to folks, I might be one of the few lawyers that start shoveling, you know what, before we ever get to the office.
Chad Franzen 15:13
Very nice, very nice. Hey, Oh, tell me a little bit about your books, they’re kind of maybe a little bit different, completely,
Peggy Hoyt 15:20
they are a lot different. So I started with the “All My Children Wear Fur Coats” book, and then wrote a book on special needs planning called Special People, Special Planning, then moved on to Planning for unmarried couples, and same sex partners, which I called Loving Without a License. And then I wrote a book for women in transition, wrote a book called, like a library burning, saving and sharing stories of a lifetime. So you can catch the theme though. They’re all kind of in and around estate planning topics that are kind of niche oriented topics. But then I veered off course for a little while and wrote a book with a friend called thank everybody for everything, grow your life and business with gratitude. Wow. Yeah, that was fun. And then we we created a companion five year journal, so that you could keep a daily gratitude journal. And I feel like that’s been tremendous in my life. I really like working in niche practice areas.
Chad Franzen 16:25
What is it about book writing that you find particularly enjoyable? I’ve heard some podcasts featuring some authors that I enjoy. And they’re great authors, but they say Writing a book is like the most painful and exhaustive process you can possibly go through. Would you agree with that?
Peggy Hoyt 16:41
It is a difficult process. I think your first one is the hardest. I think they get easier after that. I like CO writing with other authors. So I’ve done a lot of co authored books. One of my most recent co authored books is on cryonics estate planning, which is a very niche area, helping people create estate plans for after they pass away. But they want to be frozen when they die with the future expectation that we might have the medical technology to revive them at some point in the future. So that book is called The Cryonics the state planning handbook. Maybe you can take it with you. But the cool thing about books is that they really act as great third party credibility.
Chad Franzen 17:35
When you were right when you’ve been reading, as you’ve been reading that book about cryonics, Did you learn anything? Or what was something that really stood out to you that you learned?
Peggy Hoyt 17:42
Oh, I’ve learned so much from that experience, because that’s really an area where the law is wholly undeveloped. So we’re really helping clients make decisions about a future and future laws that we don’t know what they’re going to look like. So you really have to think outside the box, be real proactive and teach the clients, both the pros and the cons, the good things that could happen, but also the bad things that could happen. So yeah, that was a very interesting learning experience and the folks that are involved in cryonics, very interesting. group of individuals. As a group, they’re interesting and one on one. They’re super interesting, super eccentric, most of them.
Chad Franzen 18:35
Sure. Hey, how can’t last question for you. You’ve got a lot going on. Like I said, Help. How can people find out more about your legal practice, your nonprofit, your books, your podcast, everything.
Peggy Hoyt 18:45
So I’m everywhere pretty much so you can google my name Peggy Hoyt, you can find me at hoytbryant.com You can find me at actforpets.org. And you can find me on your favorite podcast at All My Children Wear Fur Coats, um, but I’m also on social media so you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook and all those good places.
Chad Franzen 19:07
Okay, sounds great. Hey, Peggy. It’s been great to talk to you. Thank you so much for your time today.
Peggy Hoyt 19:12
Thank you, Chad. Appreciate it.
Chad Franzen 19:13
So long, everybody.
Thanks for listening to 15 Minutes, be sure to subscribe and we’ll see you next time.