In memoriam: Chuck Berry, Mary Tyler Moore, Adam West, Jerry Lewis, Chris Cornell, Tom Petty … the list of those talented folks we sadly lost this year goes more than 90 deep depending on which publication you consult. Sometimes we feel like we have known them all of our lives from their work — so many are truly household names. The public way in which many of these celebrities lived helps us to hopefully learn how to make better choices for ourselves, especially when it comes to estate planning.
From Prince, who despite seeming to have a healthy respect for planning and the law, did no estate planning (at least that we know of) to Tom Petty who seemed very thoughtful in his plan, it is always interesting to note who does what when it comes to this tough, but critical subject.
TV & Movies Tackle Estate Planning
This year, TV and movies seemed to get that more than 50% of the population has no plan for after death to protect their families or carry out their final wishes. The Good Doctor, Chicago Med and many other shows made advanced healthcare directives a main story line to emphasis the reality of what living without planning is really like. But life is not a TV show and without your plan in place, there may not be a happy ending if a judge has to make the choice for you or your family.
In 2017, a 24-minute documentary called Extremis won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject AND the prized Jury Award at Tribeca. It “tells the story of the wrenching emotions that accompany end-of-life decisions as doctors, patients and families in a hospital ICU face harrowing choices.” The film was so moving that after Rev. Gloria White-Hammond watched the film with a group of women from her predominantly black congregation at Boston’s Bethel AME Church one recent fall evening, she made a decision. Her goal as a pastor and former pediatrician is to motivate her congregation of 600 to be prepared. Read more about her mission HERE.
2018 Should be THE Year for Estate Planning
Whatever your motivation, I implore you to establish a plan, even if it is not perfect at first. If you have a plan, review it every year (you can see this POST to help guide you or you make an appointment with me as well). It is the best gift for the new year you can give yourself and your family and never forget we are here to help you. Happy 2018!