What do you enjoy most about wealth management?
Translating a client’s values into concrete planning.
What’s the biggest challenge?
Getting clients to think about their wealth (actual and projected) as a reality, and convincing them they have to plan for the end of their life.
What do you love most about being part of Aspiriant?
I love the work we actually do for our fantastic clients, and that I get to do that work with extremely knowledgeable professionals who all have the common goal of providing excellent and comprehensive service.
What quality of yours makes you best suited to what you do?
My ability to really listen to clients and turn their long-term wishes into effective planning.
What do you love to do outside of work?
I love to travel and experience new cultures (and food!) all over the world. When I am not traveling, I enjoy playing tennis, reading, baking and spending time with my amazing family.
What would you be doing if you weren’t working for Aspiriant?
If I wasn’t an estate planning attorney, I would be an English teacher, likely focusing on American literature.
What was the most influential book you’ve read and why?
Blanche Wiesen Cook’s biographical series on Eleanor Roosevelt, which painted a complete portrait of a brilliant and complicated woman who always remained true to her core values and worked tirelessly to effectuate change for the greater good. I regularly find myself thinking, “What would Eleanor do?”
What personal accomplishments are you most proud of?
- Being accepted into the Community Leadership Institute at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
- Climbing Half Dome as part of a four-day backpacking trip in Yosemite with my sister
- Receiving a Core Value award from the company for my commitment to Aspiriant’s core values
- Leading the Associates Group for all non-director professionals in the Family Office Service line
- Serving on our Wealth Planning Committee
Education and accreditations
- LL.M. in Taxation, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
- J.D., Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
- B.A. in Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta
Melissa joined Aspiriant in 2012 and currently serves as a Director in the Strategic Planning group. Melissa also became a partner at Aspiriant in May 2018.
Based in the Los Angeles office, Melissa brings together her academic training in psychology and tax law to assist high net worth clients across the United States with estate, tax, and philanthropic planning as a part of Aspirant’s Exclusive Family Office. In this role, Melissa has served as the primary estate planning advisor for clients nationwide with a net worth between $5 million and $1 billion. In addition to her client service responsibilities, Melissa is also a member of Aspiriant’s firm-wide Extended Planning Strategy & Research team.
Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Emory University in Atlanta, and both her J.D. degree and master’s degree in tax law (the latter with distinction) from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She is an active member of the State Bar of California.
Melissa is also a practicing attorney as a partner in Primiani, Stevens & Punim, P.C., a boutique law firm specializing in estate and philanthropic planning for high net worth families.