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Hidden Gems: Meet Mariah Street of Legacy Street Law

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariah Street. 

Hi Mariah, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
10 years ago, from this interview, I went through hand-down the most life-changing, life-altering moment of my life. When my mother died suddenly (in seemingly good health), without an estate plan, and then my aunt died suddenly (also seemingly in good health) a few years after, again without a plan in place — I knew I had to change something. Both of them were young. My mom-46. My aunt-35.

Because my mother didn’t have a plan in place, everything – all assets of hers – went to my dad. An average person would think that that’s fine, but it wasn’t. I nor my brother didn’t see a penny of her estate. And then even though my aunt saw this chaos and stress that not having an estate plan was wreaking havoc on our family after my mom’s death, she never got her things in order. And when she passed, I saw the emotional pain and the mess that was left behind for my extended family. People were fighting over the littlest things – it was crazy. I remember being in law school, already stressed about school, but then I had to deal with the things going on with my family and of course deal with my grief on top of all that.

So, I decided to make a complete shift in my career by starting my law firm and shift out of the traditional way people typically provide legal services. Now, I serve business owners and families to make sure that: 1. what happened in my family doesn’t happen to anybody else’s, and 2. people, especially the black community (because there is a great need here), are knowledgeable on how to pass down their wealth and legacy for the benefit of future generations in a way that is easier and smooth.

My firm, Legacy Street Law, provides legacy and business succession planning services, as well as business legal services (formation, contracts, etc.) to legacy-minded small business owners looking to build generational wealth for their families and children. And as I mentioned, we particularly focus on helping black family-owned businesses establish a legacy plan and stability in their business so that they leave wealth and a legacy for their children’s children.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Whew, absolutely not! (Haha). As far as business goes, I had to learn how to start, run, and grow a business as I went. I don’t have a business degree or any form of a business background, and I literally started from ground zero which was very difficult. (But not impossible!)

Because of this, I didn’t know some of the foundational things I needed to know before starting my firm, such as marketing and sales strategies. I thought that if I just launched my firm and told a few people about it that people would come flocking to me. (Big mistake).

Concerning me personally, I really had to work on me and heal some of my emotional wounds developed from childhood and growing up, such as my people-pleasing tendencies and lack of boundary setting and enforcing. This has been most difficult for me because we learn our defense mechanisms as survival tactics in response to our life experiences, and it takes time to build upon and solidify those tactics in your life. This means that it will equally take a good amount of time to deconstruct those tactics and defense mechanisms and build healthier life behaviors and habits. I decided to get a therapist to help me in that journey, and I am a strong proponent of therapy to sort through your stuff! (Because we all have our “stuff”).

We’ve been impressed with Legacy Street Law, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is an NC-based legacy and business planning law firm. For legacy-minded CEOs, business owners, and their families, we are the one-stop-shop and leading law firm that provides comprehensive generational wealth and legacy planning and business planning. We combine customized legal planning strategies, culturally relevant education, and the legacy goals and values of our clients to create plans and strategies that actually works and impacts generations to come. We also do business planning (business formation, business structuring, drafting and reviewing contracts, copyright and trademark registration, etc). And we are particularly focused on serving the black community in this area. (We serve anyone, but this is our focus).

When it comes to protecting and preserving generational wealth and legacy, Legacy Street Law provides the leading legacy and business planning solutions to clients, which properly and completely transfers wealth and legacies from generation to generation as well as secure and protect their businesses. We not only plan for tangible wealth but also intangible wealth like beliefs, experiences, life lessons, and values so that the next generation(s) has an understanding of the actual intentions behind planning decisions as well as who they are as people.

Our clients establish a solid foundation for their businesses and establish generational wealth for their families and generations after them even if they didn’t come from a wealthy family, are young, don’t believe they own enough assets, and feel like they need to be at a certain place in their life or finances. Our clients don’t hire us to “get documents in place”, they hire us to craft a customized legacy plan and business plan to change the trajectory of their family for future generations.

It makes me happy to know that I am making a real difference in my community. The amount of relief and sense of personal fulfillment that clients have after doing their legacy planning is priceless! They feel as though they are being a leader in and a good steward over their family and businesses, and changing their family tree at the same time. And that was my original intent with starting my firm!

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
As far as my Firm goes, I love partnering with people in related industries to best serve my clients (if our missions are aligned) – that includes certified financial planners, CPAs, independent life insurance agents/brokers, real estate brokers/agents, etc.

For anyone who is even a little bit interested in the services my firm provides, I’d invite you to schedule an initial consultation on my website.

I am also soon going to be launching new products to help business owners legally start and launch their business, so I’d love to invite you to follow me on Instagram @mariahadvises so that you can stay plugged in on when that will be released!

Lastly, I am an empowerment speaker as well that speaks on legacy (in a general sense), entrepreneurship, purpose, resilience, and leadership to corporations, conferences, colleges, and non-profits. So, I’d love to discuss opportunities with anyone who may be looking for an amazing and dynamic speaker to move and transform their audience to become the best version of themselves.

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Image Credits
Denise Benson

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