Kelly Cruz JD
Director of Strategic Planning, Principal

IMAGE: Kelly Cruz | Director of Strategic Planning | Aspiriant | Los Angeles

What do you enjoy most about wealth management?

While my main area of focus is estate planning, working in wealth management allows me to make more informed recommendations that fit into the client’s comprehensive financial picture.

What’s the biggest challenge?

Helping clients feel comfortable with passing wealth to future generations and doing so in a manner that will still encourage their children to be productive, motivated and good stewards of the wealth.

What do you love most about being part of Aspiriant?

Being part of an independent, sustainable organization that was built on hard work and will be around for generations to come. Also being part of a team that includes creative and intelligent individuals who are all working towards the same goal – to provide the best client service possible.

What quality of yours makes you best suited to do what you do?

A combination of my desire to help people, compassion, being a good listener, and my attention to detail.

How should people think about their wealth?

It is something they have worked hard to build. Therefore they should enjoy it and use available strategies to preserve the excess for future generations and/or philanthropy.

What do you love to do outside of work?

Go to Disneyland with my husband and children. Go to Jason Mraz concerts (he’s my favorite singer/artist).

What would you be doing if you weren’t working for Aspiriant?

Owning/running a restaurant or bed and breakfast with my husband.

Career highlights:

  • Graduating law school and passing the California Bar exam
  • Being formally recognized by my colleagues for exemplifying the firm’s core values, notably creating clarity and peace of mind for clients
  • Becoming a Principal of Aspiriant

What personal accomplishments are you most proud of?

  • Helping a developmentally challenged child say his first word while working as a behavioral and speech therapist prior to starting my legal career
  • Building close relationships with those I love and learning to be a good wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend
  • Oh, and appearing in a country music video because it was fun and I love country music

Education

  • J.D., Pepperdine University Law School
  • B.A., Psychology, University of California, Irvine

Kelly joined Aspiriant’s predecessor firm, Quintile Wealth Management, in 2006. She worked her way from Senior Associate to Manager, and became a Director of Strategic Planning in 2014. In addition, Kelly is proud and honored to have become a Principal of Aspiriant in 2015.

Kelly has extensive experience serving high net-worth individuals and families with assets ranging from $5M to more than $500M. While she is primarily responsible for navigating client’s estate planning, gift and estate tax planning, and philanthropic needs, she works as part of comprehensive teams to ensure these planning facets are cohesive with the rest of their financial plan.

Kelly earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine (go Anteaters!), graduating cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She then went on to earn her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and is an active member of the State Bar of California.

On a personal note, Kelly met her husband in 1999 at UC Irvine and they have been together since 2001. She cherishes spending time with her husband and children.

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