From Banjo Pickin’ to Estate Planning

Advisor Spotlight: Rosalyn “Roz” Carothers

Music was Rosalyn “Roz” Carothers first love. Classical, to be exact.

Growing up in Louisville, she had a fascination with a variety of instruments that made up music’s sweet symphonic sound. The art of music was so alluring to a young Roz that she left high school at age 16 to attend the University of Louisville’s School of Music.

As she was exposed to varying genres of music, though, she realized her decade-long admiration of classical music wasn’t her only love. Instead, she discovered a spellbinding connection to Celtic and bluegrass music – notably the fiddle. Not an instrument typically associated with classical music, Roz began paving her own path to musical freedom. She joined a bluegrass band at 19 and began playing at various local establishments, including the old Woody’s Tavern in Louisville.

Over the years, Roz would eventually fall out of love with playing music professionally. But her musical career, albeit brief, taught her a thing or two about opportunity.

“Classical music was always so important in my family,” Roz recalls. “And I still love classical music. I just think that for me, even though the instruments are so similar, playing music on the fiddle is more fun. So, I went down that path.”

Roz’s willingness to jump feet-first into new situations probably helps explain why she chose to attend law school following her exit from professional music. It also might shed light on why she now heads up her own law firm, Triplett & Carothers.

Since 1990, Roz has been practicing law in Louisville and Southern Indiana. A graduate of the University of Louisville, Roz focuses her practice on estate planning, probate and trust administration, and asset protection, with offices in both New Albany and Louisville.

“I have clients that want to make gifts to benefit various people and charities throughout the community, and it is my job to help them find a way to do that without having to set up a private foundation,” Roz says.

At some point during her professional career, she crossed paths with Linda Speed, who was working at the Community Foundation of Louisville at the time. When Linda eventually took over as President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, Roz saw an opportunity that would make life even easier for her clients.

“I knew Linda for years, and I really liked working with her,” Roz says. “Since she has taken over CFSI, I have found them to be very easy to work with. It’s a great collaborative partnership where I see myself as a conduit and I see the Community Foundation as a conduit. Then you have the client, who is kind of the hero of the story, because they have these great ideas and things they want to have happen. My team acts as the guide – we guide them to CFSI, who helps the clients’ dreams come to fruition, whether that’s while they’re living or after they’ve passed.”

For Roz, having a team of professionals that is so knowledgeable about their field, yet so easily accessible, is part of what separates CFSI from other similar organizations.

“For me, I think it’s a combination of the resources they offer and working with them directly because sometimes, I don’t know all of the answers,” Roz says. “So, it’s comforting knowing I can reach out to Linda and let her know what the client is thinking about and asking for any suggestions she might have. In the end, we want an estate plan that works, both efficiently and effectively, and the Community Foundation is a good partner to do that with.”

Roz says she has no hesitation suggesting the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana to her Southern Indiana clients. In fact, she says, she looks forward to the opportunity of helping direct her more philanthropic clients to an organization she believes in.

“I have a client right now who wants to set up a baseball scholarship for someone graduating high school who is also on the baseball team,” Roz says. “To set up a private foundation for something like that, it would be very expensive and not cost-effective at all. But working through the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, I’m always assured someone will have those scholarships set up in a very cost-effective manner and know it’s going to be successfully carried out and administered directly.”

In addition to making life easier for her clients, Roz has seen first-hand the beneficial resources CFSI provides local advisors and attorneys as a member of the Southern Indiana Estate Planning Council (SIEPC). Hosted by the Foundation on the second Tuesday of each month, the SIEPC provides area advisors educational and networking opportunities to help better serve the community.

Roz says that the personal touch that CFSI applies to every one of its donors and their advisors is part of the reason why she will continue to work with CFSI moving forward.

“The Community Foundation offers real suggestions on solutions to problems we face, not just asking for money to put in an endowment fund,” Roz says. “They are fabulous to work with and I trust them. I think all of the resources that the Foundation has offered over the years adds a great deal of flexibility for my clients, and I just love that.”

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