Cherish De la Cruz is a 1998 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Honors Sociology from the University of Western, Ontario. Cherish earned her law degree from the University of Iowa in 2003, where among her other achievements and leadership roles, she was a member of the Journal of Corporation Law. She is licensed to practice law in both Florida (2004) and Georgia (2006).
Cherish began her legal career in the office of the Public Defender, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida. During her tenure, she had the opportunity to try numerous bench and jury trials on behalf of her clients. These formative years in the courtroom shaped her ability to proactively navigate the probate system and prevent escalation of routine estate matters.
After relocating to Atlanta in 2006, Cherish served as Senior Counsel and Deputy Anti-Money Laundering Officer for Primerica, a publicly-traded investment and insurance company. Because of these seven years as in-house counsel for Primerica, Cherish has expertise supporting both small business and individuals with a variety of investment assets as she works collaboratively with financial advisors.
Cherish established De la Cruz Law, LLC in 2013 to help multigenerational families plan their futures. As a mother of three young children and as the daughter of aging baby boomer parents, she is both personally and professionally fluent in the complexities that arise in ensuring that family members can thrive throughout the aging process.
Community service has always been important to the De la Cruz family. Cherish currently serves as the President-Elect of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association, as Board Member for the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association Law Foundation, an Advisory Board Member for the Philippine American Center of Georgia and Philippine Chamber of Commerce. The Georgia Asian Times in 2017, named Cherish as one of the Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia. Cherish is also a graduate of the Gwinnett Glace Program an affiliate of Leadership Gwinnett.
In addition, she is a member at Large of the Elder Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association, the Gwinnett County Bar Association, Alpha Omicron Pi Atlanta Alumnae Chapter, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Wealth Counsel a National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys.
Cherish De la Cruz
A sneak peek at the full podcast which is available for streaming and downloading below
Cherish De la Cruz: It was 2005. And we knew that we wanted to … family’s very important to us. And so, my parents lived here at the time. They still live here in Atlanta. And so, we knew we wanted to be closer to family, and we knew we wanted to have children of our own. So, the free babysitters are here. So, no. And I do you have a very close relationship with my parents. God love them. So, we knew that we wanted to make Atlanta our home. And so, my husband got a new job. And then, I had just randomly applied, not thinking that I would have the experience.
You never know what kind of opportunities until you try. And so, this is something that I’ve heard from different women. I was like, “Oh, okay. Well, like, how did you make the transition from criminal defense to … you know, I was doing securities, compliance, anti-money laundering, all of those things.” And you know what? If you don’t try, you’ll never, ever know. And so, it was this random application with my criminal background experience. I went to the interview, and I remember because I went up to a funeral up in Toronto, and I thought the interview went well. I thought it went really, really well. And he’s like … you know, he was … you know, the person who was interviewing me, my boss, he was pretty much saying I got the job during the interview, but I hadn’t heard from him in about a month. And, of course, I was a little disappointed, but I was still applying. I hadn’t taken the Georgia bar, so I wasn’t licensed here yet. I’m licensed in Florida.
Cherish De la Cruz: And then, so he randomly called me while I was in Toronto. And he’s like, “I don’t want you to think that we didn’t want you to come on board. It took us a while.” Corporations, they take a while to get the funding for the department. And so, Danny, who is my former boss, he’s like, “You’ve got the job. Here it is.” And I had to learn everything from scratch. So, I had no idea actually really what kind of job I was going into. I just-
Corey Rieck: Was that advantageous looking back?
Cherish De la Cruz: Yes.
Corey Rieck: How so?
Cherish De la Cruz: In terms of you never know, you need to be prepared to do anything. And so, you know what that means? That means … and this is true in my life. Be prepared and be open to learning. Putting yourself in uncomfortable experiences. So, I had to take my-.
Corey Rieck: It’s where growth happens.
Cherish De la Cruz: Yeah, exactly. Of course, when I was 27, 28, I wasn’t thinking of that. I was just thinking, “Oh, okay. This is just happening,” but I had to take my securities licenses. So, I had my six, seven, all of those fancy numbers. I took my insurance licenses. I really invested in myself in terms of learning as much as I could. And I did that for about seven years.
Corey Rieck: Estate planning found you.
Cherish De la Cruz: Yes. And then, estate planning found me. And when my aunt got diagnosed, it was a shift, an evaluation of my life at that time. Meaning, what was going to bring me joy? What could I do at the end of the day where I would feel good about helping someone? I love the people at my job. They were great. It was a wonderful. It was a great place to work at, but it did not give me the satisfaction that I do have today.
Corey Rieck: Was it hard to leave the known?
Cherish De la Cruz: Of course, of course. And then, for me … and this is why no planning is so important because when I left, I did not plan. I did not. I just thought clients were going to fall into my lap, and they didn’t. And so, I had to start a business from scratch. I started originally with two partners, and that ultimately dissolved. And you know what? It was a failure. It was a failure on my part. And I had never experienced failure at all up until that point, like real failure, failure where I felt like I couldn’t overcome it.
Cherish De la Cruz: And I learned that, at that point, there was a juncture. And I call that like this critical point in my life where I evaluated my life and I said, “Okay, I could.” To the point where I was super upset, and then I said, “You know what? What can I control in my life? What can I do to make myself feel better?” And then, I really got into personal development. I started learning about myself, what makes me tick. I started learning about other people. I saw a therapist, I saw a coach. And all of those things helped me become the person that I am today. And I’m a much … ask my husband, he will tell you I’ve changed significantly in the last seven years.
Corey Rieck is the President and Founder of The Long Term Care Planning Group, a firm that specializes in delivering Long Term Care education and coverage to companies, high net worth individuals and large organizations. Since 2001, Corey has devoted his career to Long Term Care as a result of multiple personal experiences.
A neutral provider of Long Term Care Solutions since 2001, Corey brings a unique and comprehensive consultative perspective to this issue. Since 2003, part of his commitment to the Long Term Care Industry includes his having trained over 3,500 advisors from San Francisco to Wall Street on how to properly position Long Term Care to clients through the CLTC organization. Additionally, he has authored dozens of published industry articles on Long Term Care and has assisted many of the nation’s leading LTC carriers on operational and educational matters.