My philosophy begins with planning in advance, which helps to discourage and eliminate conflicts and hardships in providing care for aging loved ones and administering their estates. In Dr. Seuss’, “Oh The Places You’ll Go”, he talks about how someone should go through life. In that book, he says: “And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.” In reality, most people do not want to face up to their problems. Most folks would rather not talk about what happens if they are sick or disabled and they definitely don’t want to talk about dying and what happens after they die. But facing what will happen if and when you are sick or disabled and looking at your options helps you to understand the steps that your caregivers and family can take to ensure you are happy, healthy and living with dignity no matter what the future holds. Isn’t that what we all want? To live happy and healthy for as long as we can in the location of our choosing and with all the advantages of modern medicine we can afford. Yes, of course, that’s what we want. Then let’s not wait until a crisis to plan for our future.
We are living much longer than past generations. There is a greater chance you and I will face an illness which is terminal and chronic such as cancer or some type of dementia than a physical illness that claims your life. Healthcare is expensive and many people do not have long-term care insurance or alternatively sufficient savings or family to provide the care they need without some planning. Sometimes the planning required is simple and need not be complex. Each person and each family should have some plan for their children, for themselves as they age, and for their estate after their death.
I often tell my clients that I am paid much more by representing family members in disputes litigated in courts. But a family is already broken by the time attorney’s are needed to represent a side in a lawsuit. My goal is to preserve families. If I and my employees and associates can help the families in my community and my neighboring communities to prepare in advance for themselves and their children, then, at the end of our lives, we will have left the world a little bit better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best in his point about a successful life.
“To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
To leave the word a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”
We succeed every day when we help one individual or family live a little better, worry a little less, and laugh little more.