Over the last 15 years of working with thousands of fantastic estate planning clients, I’ve had the privilege to learn from them, from a lifetime of experiences – helpful tips that I apply to my own life.
- This one can save your life. How to get the treatment I need from my Healthcare (HMO). HMOs have a financial incentive to provide as little healthcare as possible, so we may have to advocate stronger for the services we need or ourselves and our loved ones. My client recently told me what worked when his wife was refused life-saving treatment for a terminal illness at Kaiser. He said, “Refuse her treatment in writing.” Magically, they changed their mind and said, “Well what would you like us to do?” He replied, “Gee, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor, do you have any around here?” Sure enough, they did, and they got the treatment. His wife lived to tell the tale to me.
- How to Get Out of Speeding Ticket. One of my clients is a base player in a rock band that travels all over the world. He admitted that he gets pulled over often for speeding. I asked him how he deals with so many tickets and he said the secret is to be cooperative, admit to the speeding, but TO ASK if the officer would be willing to “let you go this time.” For some reason, it never occurred to me TO ASK for such a favor. The officer usually lets him off “this time.”
- Skip the Kids and Go Right to Grandkids. I’ve heard a lot of stories from my clients regarding the joy and disappointment of having children. Half of them say the kids are the best thing they ever did. The other half would not repeat the experience. In contrast, they all rave about the grandchildren. Apparently, you get to enjoy them, spoil them and give them back to mom and dad whenever you like. So, I’ve decided to skip the kids and go right for the grandkids. It’s actually happening! Never having had my own children, I recently married a wonderful man with two adult children. I expect they may have kids someday, so that’s definitely the way to go.
- Our estate plans are only limited by our imaginations. Estate planning doesn’t have to be about gloom and doom. I wrote a treasure hunt into my estate plan so that there’s enough money to allow my nieces to travel the world on a wild hunt for treasure. Imagine, real treasure maps, SCUBA lessons, and adventure. In the end, real jewels await to be found, a legacy for the next generation. A dying client is planning a wine label with her name on it and big post-death party for everyone to celebrate her new wine, created in her name. It will be a celebration!