Burns celebrates return home, ribbon cutting of law office

Published 11:43 am Thursday, February 16, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Native son John Burns celebrated his return to Brookhaven with a ribbon cutting at his John Burns Estate and Elder Care Law Firm at 213 South Railroad Ave. Thursday. He hurriedly cut the ribbon moments before the floodgates of heaven opened with thick sheets of rain. 

Burns studied law at Ole Miss and tax law at the University of Florida. His first job in law was in Franklin, Tennessee just outside of Nashville. He worked for 20 years in tax law and had “run the tax gamut,” before moving to Decatur, Alabama where he opened his firm. 

His wife Rebecca is a native of Decatur and he worked there with John Burns Estate and Elder Care from 2016 until they relocated to Brookhaven in November of 2022. Mayor Joe Cox spoke at the ribbon cutting. 

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“I have the honor of welcoming John back to Brookhaven. Welcome home,” Cox said. 

Several things came together for Burns to move back home to Brookhaven. His wife became open to moving to the town, he found an office space downtown which was suitable for the business and they found a place to live. It all came together in November 2022. 

“For me, being able to return has been a big deal for many years. My family and I are thrilled to be here,” Burns said. “I have realized for many years Brookhaven has had a hold on me. It gained a hold on my wife. You have ideas of where you want to be and what you want to do. I reached a point where I could come home. It lines up well. I’m grateful for it. Things fell in place and we are extremely grateful to be here.” 

Estate and Elder Care is a focus of law not too different from taxes. It seemed like a “natural extension,” when Burns made the transition in 2016. He decided then to focus on it. 

“I’m pleased to do it. I enjoy doing it and helping families,” Burns said. “We are trying to do what we can to help people not only at the end of life but to enjoy the remainder of life.” 

His office has an open window and bright lobby area. Wooden floors are warmly stained and to the right of the front desk is a secret hallway. His daughter Grace emerged from the secret hallway  in a pink dress and about 10 mardi gras bead necklaces draped around her neck. John “Jack” Burns Jr. ran around the office with excitement as he celebrated the big day. His kids are in third grade in Brookhaven. 

A glass cabinet down a hallway with offices held blue travel mugs with John Burns Estate and Elder Care Law branding. On top of it was a red and white shell from yesteryear. Burns said he got it from his mother. 

“A man in Brookhaven had a bunch of them. They would sit on top of gas pumps back in the day and when they changed to newer ones they were giving them away,” Burns said. “The man gave one to her and it sat in a closet. I needed it and cleaned it up. Now I have had it for 20 years and it was in each one of my offices.”