Monday Profile: Sarah Meinhart

 Sarah Meinhart is an Ann Arbor probate and estate planning attorney focusing on estate planning, probate and trust administration, and real estate. In February, she was appointed by Attorney General Bill Schuette as a Washtenaw County public administrator.   

Meinhart was a member of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Policy and Service and graduated cum laude from Albion College in 2004 with a degree in economics and management.  A 2007 graduate of Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, she began her practice, Sarah M. Meinhart, PLLC shortly thereafter while also assistant coaching cross country and track at Fr. Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor. 
By Jo Mathis
Legal News
Residence:  South Lyon.
Currently reading … “The Hungry Caterpillar,”  my daughter’s current favorite book.  Even if it’s the fifth time in a row, she always gets excited about the butterfly at the end.  It’s a good reminder to me to not get caught up in the monotony of day-to-day tasks and to approach life with the awe and wonder of a child.
My mother always told me …    “Hold your chin high, no matter what.”
What is your most treasured material possession? My wedding band.
What advice do you have for someone considering law school?  Talk to local attorneys about their practices.  I did this after law school and found it to be incredibly valuable information for my practice 
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be?  A photographer for a magazine such as National Geographic.
 Favorite local hangouts: Any running trail in Ann Arbor. 
Your proudest moment(s) as a lawyer? Being appointed as a public administrator.  
Which things do you not like to do? Clean up after cooking.  I love the process of creating a meal, but not necessarily dealing with the mess I make.
What would surprise people about your job? My office has a law dog named Scout. She’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and does an excellent job of greeting our clients. 
What’s your greatest achievement? Building my legal practice.
At Thanksgiving dinner, would you rather talk politics, religion or the weather? Religion — What has Pope Francis done to inspire us this year? 
What one thing do you wish people knew about your work?  We often times have potential clients call up asking about drafting just a “simple will.”  A good estate planning attorney will get to know her clients by asking pertinent questions.  Tailoring an estate plan can be an intricate process depending on one’s specific needs, and it is my job to discover the needs my clients potentially didn’t know they had, and to fine-tune the language in my documents to meet those needs.  
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? 
That our hearts would be changed regarding the dignity of the most vulnerable in our society, the elderly, those with special needs, and the unborn; and their existence would not be viewed as an impediment to our lives and therefore disposable if they do not fit into our "planned" lifestyle. 
Must-see TV: Tiger baseball. 
What’s your favorite animal? Pygmy goats.
What’s your biggest regret? I try not to regret, all my life experiences have made me the person I am today.  
What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? To fiddle
What is something most people don't know about you?  I have two: 
1) My grandmother is a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She has amazing stories—one in which our ancestor gave George Washington a sword during a battle.  
2) I have run three marathons, two of them during my third year of law school, one being the Boston Marathon.
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Joan Benoit Samuelson, St. Joseph, and my daughter. One out of 3 every night isn’t bad, even though I think St. Joseph might be able to sit still and enjoy dinner for a bit longer than a toddler
Favorite movie:  “Chariots of Fire.”
What’s the best advice you ever received? “What other people think of you is none of your business.” 
What place won’t you return if you can help it? First year of law school.
What do you drive? What would you drive if money were no object? A Ford Fusion.  My next vehicle is a Ford Flex and I’m pretty excited about that.
Favorite place to spend money:  The Little Seedling in Ann Arbor.
Where would you like to be when you're 90? If I’m not still running, then coaching cross country by day and sitting on the porch listening to the crickets with my husband by night.