Our Head of Client Services and Marketing, Cyrena Ivie, has been with us for a year now. We thought we'd take the opportunity to sit down with her and have her answer a few questions to get to know her better. This interview will be the first of a series over the next year in which we get to know all of our team members, so stay tuned to learn more about our team!
Q: So you’ve been with Jesson & Rains for a year now. What’s your role at the firm?
Cyrena: I handle client services and marketing. I help Ed, Kelly, and Danielle with the day-to-day client intake and correspondence. I also handle the newsletter, social media accounts, and various other marketing tasks.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working with Jesson & Rains?
Cyrena: It may sound cliché, but I really love our team members! I love working somewhere that I feel included and a part of the team. We truly have a sense of cohesion and helping each other out, so I always feel like someone has my back. That’s a really nice thing to have! I also love helping answer questions for clients who may be overwhelmed or confused. Sometimes clients come to us during a stressful time and I do my best to ensure that they have a smooth and easy time so that they want to recommend us to their friends.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Cyrena: I am originally from Massachusetts. I went to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. When I graduated I was commissioned as an Air Force Public Affairs Officer. I was stationed at places like Guam, Hawaii, and Louisiana. When I got out of the military I settled here in Charlotte with my husband. We met while serving together in the Air Force and he’s originally from North Carolina. I stayed home with my three kids while they were young and then taught preschool until my youngest started Kindergarten, when I started working at Jesson & Rains. I am about halfway through pursuing my Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Q: What do you think you bring to the team?
Cyrena: Well, I think I have a jack-of-all-trades mentality. We are a small firm, so each of us take on a lot of different roles, which I like. I like the variety and the challenge. Also, I think my varied life experiences give me a unique perspective on how to approach situations.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Cyrena: I love to go camping and hiking with my husband and three kids. I play on a coed soccer team and I love to garden and read.
Q: How long have you lived in Charlotte, and what are some things you love about it here?
Cyrena: I have been here 12 years. I love the greenways we have here in Charlotte, and things like the Whitewater Center. I love that I can now ride the light rail to go to class at UNCC, and I love the variety of restaurants.
Q: What is something about you that most people don’t know?
Cyrena: Ummm….(laughs). I guess that I was on the show Good Morning America in high school.
Q: What? Tell us about it!
Cyrena: Well, I was part of a group of kids who tutored a 98-year-old lady and helped her get her honorary high school diploma. She walked with us at graduation. It was really amazing to see someone so motivated to finally get their degree. I guess she has kind of inspired me to continue my education, despite the challenges it may present. Anyways, I got to travel to NYC with her to be interviewed on the live show. It was a whirlwind experience.
Q: What is a pet peeve of yours?
Cyrena: It annoys me when people don’t recycle. My kids know that they will get in big trouble if they don’t do their part to help take care of the environment. (laughs)
Generally, if you have a will, you can name anyone you want to and the court will respect your decision, but there are a couple of obvious prohibitions and then a few not so obvious restrictions.
Your executor must be:
If you pass away without naming someone in a will, the clerk of court will appoint someone in the following order (as long as they qualify with the above requirements):
(1) A surviving spouse;
(2) A beneficiary in a will;
(3) Any heir;
(4) Any next of kin
(5) Any creditor of the decedent;
(6) Any person of good character residing in the county who applies therefore; and
(7) Any other person of good character.
There are a few other important notes to keep in mind. The clerk of court has to discretion to turn down anyone it finds “unsuitable.” If you pass away without a will, your executor will have to get a surety bond and pay a bond premium in order to serve unless all other heirs sign a form waiving that requirement. Getting a bond involves passing a credit check. Depending on the county, some clerks of court will require bonds for all out-of-state executors, even if all heirs sign waivers, and sometimes even if the decedent had a will and waived the bond requirement! This is why it is important to meet with licensed attorney and set up your estate plan to ensure that the person who you want to handle your affairs when you pass away will be appointed.
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