Joanie’s Story

Joanie Harris Legacy CounselingI am a long-time resident of Fredericksburg, Texas and have strong family and community ties here. Years ago I enjoyed a fruitful career in real estate, selling residential and ranch properties in the Texas Hill Country. 

In 1990, a sharp change marked my life when I lost five loved ones within one short year. The losses of my father, uncle, aunt and grandmother were a devastating blow, soon compounded by the sudden death of a dear friend.  I turned to a counselor to help work through my grief and the big life changes I was facing.

A few years later, I found myself at a crossroads in my career. I reflected on the healing and growth I had found with the help of my counselor, and with time I realized that I wanted to start a new career to help others as I had been helped. I earned an advanced degree in counseling, and in 1996 opened a practice in Fredericksburg.

Just after I finished my graduate work, my mother was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Given the uncertainty of her prognosis, my mother chose to be intentional in handling her affairs, crafting meticulous plans for her estate and personal effects and exploring the relational and emotional aspects of each.  Amazingly, she beat her cancer and recovered to good health; then in 2003 she was lost in a tragic car accident during a rare ice storm.  Our family was closely knit, and I was deeply affected by this loss.

As executor of my mother’s will, I now faced the emotional and financial challenge of settling her estate. I soon discovered just how gracefully my mother left her affairs, which provided a comforting assurance. Clearly my mother was caring for me and my siblings as lovingly in death as she did in life. 

Soon after, some of my mother’s friends asked me to help them with their own plans. As we worked together, I not only was struck by how rewarding it felt to help people find peace through preparation but also by how effectively my background as realtor, counselor and estate executor came together in this new role. Trusted friends, meanwhile, affirmed my new direction. In 2004 I started helping people with estate issues, and in 2011 I officially established a practice in what I describe as LEGACY COUNSELING.

Today I counsel people through the  relational and emotional challenges associated with the process of estate planning, helping them to minimize family conflict while gaining clarity and peace about how they choose to leave their estate. 

Feel free to review my curriculum vitae below as well as this case study.


Joanie Harris, M.A., LPC

Curriculum Vitae

Legacy Counseling

A Licensed Professional Counselor devoted to serving the psychological needs of individuals and couples seeking to better address the emotional, relational and practical matters of leaving their affairs in good order. Eighteen years of counseling experience that includes individual, marriage, family, grief and legacy counseling.  Passionate about helping clients minimize family conflict and find clarity and peace.


JH Legacy Counseling, PLLC 2011-present


  • Working together with clients towards clarity in regards to the relational and emotional matters associated with estate planning including personal property and effects.
  • Helping clients determine the services that will ensure their best laid plans, encouraging the support of pertinent resources like estate attorneys, financial planners, CPAs and physicians.

Trudy Harris Estate 2003-2005


  • Settling the estate of Trudy Harris by coordinating family members, estate attorneys, and financial planners.
  • Management of family property involving maintenance, agricultural exemption, negotiating leases with caretakers and hiring and supervising contracted labor.

Joan Harris, (Licensed Professional Counselor – LPC) 2001-2011


  • Individual, Marriage, and Family Counseling and Grief counseling in private practice.

Biblical Counseling Resources 1996-2001

Licensed Professional Counselor Intern

  • Individual, Marriage, and Family Counseling.

Coldwell Banker (Hahn Ranch Realty) 1978-1985


  • Real estate sales of rural property in the Texas Hill Country.



  • Master’s Degree in Counseling, Colorado Christian University, Denver, Colorado
  • Bachelor of Science in Forestry, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN

Professional Memberships                                                                                                                                                              

  • American Association of Christian Counselors
  • Texas Counseling Association

Community Service                                                                                                                                                                               

Board Member – EOS Foundation, a private charitable organization. Ft. Worth,  TX            2007-present

Founding member of the Fred’s Party (Fredericksburg Charity Assistance) Committee  2001-2011

Founding Member of the Young Life Committee of Fredericksburg                               1998-2001

Hill Country Community Needs Council                                                                                            1983-1988

Founding Board Member of the Pedernales Youth Soccer Association                                      1983-1986

Speaking Engagements                                                                                                                                                                     

Heritage Hill Country Community Center – Fredericksburg, TX – 2014

  • Living with Intention: Understanding the value of planning and caring well for those you love as you consider the future

St. Barnabas Church – Fredericksburg, TX – 2012

  • Living with Intention: Understanding the value of planning and caring well for those you love as you consider the future

Health and Wholeness Center – Boerne, TX – 2012

  • Living with Intention: Understanding the value of planning and caring well for those you love as you consider the future

Hill Country Memorial Hospital Foundation, Wills Clinic – Fredericksburg, TX – 2015

  • Living with Intention: Understanding the value of planning and caring well for those you love as you consider the future

References and letters of recommendation available upon request