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You Are Only As Strong As Your Back-up Plan

A LITTLE BACKGROUND - I worked on a trading floor for more than 10 years in the 80’s. I lived alone for most of my adult life with a lifestyle that made my Mother proud. I trained a headstrong half ton animal my horse Senor (not my husband), and brought up 3 rambunctious 100+ pound dogs from puppies. If you are thinking I am a strong or smart woman... you might be mistaken. Alas, I am like the majority of singles and married women without children who do not have a backup plan in case of disability or illness. Why? I think I have been dragging my feet as I have no children or nieces and nephews. So who do I leave my "things" to? I felt the decision to be daunting, and continued to put off my own estate planning.

I never wanted to think of myself as one those financial professionals that preach "do as I say" while thinking "not as I do,"...but lo and behold I found myself in that exact place. I now see that estate planning is much more about life than death - it is about taking control of your health and financial decisions now. With control there is strength. Why am I telling you this? I finally realized this after a recent life changing experience, an experience my friends and I wish on no one. My good friend Kayla, a single woman taking care of her 89 year old Mother, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last May. Unfortunately, Kayla and her Mother were also in the majority of adult women with no health care directives or updated wills. Thankfully Kay and her Mom were both lucid and had a close knit and trusted group of friends who stepped in to assist with medical and end of life decisions. What if I am not so lucky to remain lucid and in charge? Kayla lost her valiant battle March 6th with all wishes understood and undertaken. With my eyes opened I am now taking charge of my life. I chose a health care advocate who along with my husband will be very aware of my wishes surrounding my financial and medical care. I also made time to meet with our own in-house legal team to discuss a plan for my care as well as for the ongoing care of my animals. Thank you Kay for bringing me to Church (pun intended). Sometimes we all need a dose of reality to get us on track.

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