Category Archives: family

John Lennon Got it Right

John Lennon sang “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”

I know another John. Last week, one of his lunch meetings was cancelled. Because he keeps his bicycle and helmet in the office, John is always ready for an exercise break. A leisurely ride and he’d be back in time for his 2 o’clock meeting. What he didn’t plan on was meeting Robert that day.

Not far away from John’s office, Robert had a doctor’s appointment. His wife was insisting on driving him. Irritated at how she and their children were ganging up on him about giving up the car keys, Robert, 85 years old, wouldn’t listen to them.

“Stop badgering me. I’m just going two miles,” he said, slamming the front door as he left. Climbing into his car, he backed out of the driveway.

Ten minutes later, along the tree-lined road that cast confusing shadows, John was killed when Robert’s car hit him. John’s cell phone was ringing. His daughter was reminding him that they had a date to go Christmas shopping that evening.

John’s family will spend the holidays grieving John’s death. There is no life insurance. John had not paid the premium on time. His wife, as busy with her company as he was with his, didn’t check if he’d paid it. Both their wills needed to be updated; neither could find the time to consult their attorney.

Robert’s family is in shock. Angry, frightened and remorseful, they’re consulting with their attorney about the legal actions they will face as a result of not being insistent enough with Robert.

We can’t see our own life unfolding. But our families will live with the consequences.

Are your insurance premiums paid?

Are you being too soft on someone who shouldn’t be driving anymore?

Or, as John Lennon sang, are you busy making other plans?

 

 

 

 

Dad gives Family a Gift from the Heart

Roger, the husband of my friend Diana, needed heart surgery that carried serious risks. He and Diana prepared for the worst, making sure their financial and legal documents were up-to-date. Perhaps just as important, they were open and honest about their fears of Roger’s chances of surviving. They celebrated their decades of love and the life they had built together with their four children.

The surgery was scheduled for two weeks in advance. Roger and Diana asked their children to visit earlier, rather than gathering on the day of the surgery. During those preceding days, the family pored over photo albums and home movies, laughing and remembering happy times and sharing feelings about what they mean to each other. Tom, the youngest son, who had been estranged from the family for years, didn’t show up.

Roger spent time alone with each of the children who came, wanting to be sure they had the chance to say to him what was personal for them. He wanted to give each their own blessing and tell them individually that he loved them.

At the time of this writing, Roger is recovering, but he will need additional surgery. He would still like to talk with Tom, but this may not happen. Tom may find himself in a ‘race-to-the-bedside” situation. On the other hand, he may not care.

Consider what Roger has given to his family, because he was willing to open his heart to the people he loved. He gave them a gift of a conversation from the heart.


“Money” Conversation Not About Money

Psychiatrists have long equated the reluctance to write a will, prepare an advance directive or estate plan, with fear of dying.

Who wants to think about planning for death? We have to confront our mortality. No more illusions that it won’t happen to us. We have to face giving up our possessions and power. We have to deal with uncomfortable subjects like aging, illness, death, inheritance and a host of other things we’ve managed to avoid thinking about.

Having the ‘money conversation’ is rarely ‘just about money’. It’s also about family dynamics, mistakes, regrets, guilt, and a host of other issues. Children feel morbid, greedy and intrusive asking their parents questions about money and death. The parents don’t want to start conversations about ‘touchy’ subjects either. The result – people procrastinate, hoping for the best. Hope is not a strategy. It’s a procrastination tool and most often, it doesn’t work.

Click the buy the book button:

www.moneyloveandlegacy.com/

Check out the guide  for opening the conversations that matter between parents and children.Follow the check lists for what parents need to put in place so children aren’t burdened with a financial and legal mess after parents die.

It’s truly an act of love for parents to get their affairs in order.