Posts tagged with "Estate Planning"


Be Healthy Wealthy & Wise

Be Healthy Wealthy & Wise The Journey To Live Your Legacy

2020 was a closeup: a challenging 12-month cycle. 2021 is an opportunity to “Plus” this. To soothe, heal, make it better. Let’s learn while shifting to a better place?

How can we chart a new path when 2021 still feels raw and ugly, losses due to grief? Is life beyond our control?  The virus, unemployment, the economy?  Frustrated trying to get where you have never been … without GPS? I invite you to start 2021 with a Plan, and to create a new MISSION! Who remembers Agent 007, Sean Connery as James Bond in the movie “Mission Impossible?”  He planned for his mission and so can you.

Your 2021 MISSION, should you accept it, is to identify, revise and up-level your game and personal habits, so that you successfully implement a winning strategy, leverage specific tools and resources, execute actions that proactively increase income, and preserve your family’s resources. Take the first step to building a lasting and living legacy! Do you have a plan? A family plan, study plan, Estate Plan, or financial plan?

WHAT IF going forward, we rethink or develop a new Mindset One that reduces the likelihood of another societal melt-down?  How can we transform chaos into productivity and thriving? Each of our reactions to the pandemic was based on a combination of habits, mindset, values, and experiences.  How well we coped was dependent on reserves, familial support, systems, and leveraged opportunities.  Here is a Plan that helps you pick up the slack and get unstuck.  It just might make a difference.

  1. Control Your Immediate Environment

Control your home environment, your mental, physical, and emotions. What lifestyle or high-risk choices are you making?  Take responsibility. How adaptable are you when it comes to resources or opportunities?  Who are the people you enjoy working with, or who allow you to perform at an ideal standard?  What are your prioritized values? Answer these questions and you will create effective guard rails, that focus you while systemizing tasks in a direction that propels you forward to MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! When you examine existing resources, segment them by subject and identify gaps. Identify professional and assumed resources: doctors/nurses/healthcare, lawyers/paralegals, education/personal development/online learning, financial professionals/insurance agents/401K plan administrators, coaches/mentors. What or where is your gap? Who are your valued resources?

  1. Commit To #1: Prioritize Goals and Identify Tasks

Once a decision is made believe that the universe will support you providing a “just in time” opportunity. Choose who and what tasks to focus on, then stake your ground, begin the journey to identify and fill each need gap.

  • Does your Need Gap involve finances or money? Family security, or retirement? Healthcare or debt management? Insurance or taxes? Wealth, or Estate Planning? Irrespective of where you are in life, each person should have reassurance and peace of mind, knowing that loved ones are safe and provided for. There are many uncertainties, we must plan. One way to do this is by having an Estate Plan that matches specific needs. But what exactly is an Estate Plan?
  1. Your Estate Plan

An Estate Plan is more than a simple will. it includes at a minimum a Durable Power of Attorney (appoints somebody to act on your behalf), a simple Will, or Trust. A Trust is a legal arrangement through which one person holds legal title for another. The Trust is designed to ensure that loved ones know your wishes, are provided for, protect your assets while minimizing generational losses (due to taxes, creditors etc. Get access to a simple Trust resources at A well-designed Trust can conveniently shift assets. An excellent Estate Plan will also include medical directives, Guardianship and documents that preserve  income, even if a family uses government benefits.

Heather Atkinson is an attorney and financial professional, who has worked for and with individual clients, major law firms, Fortune and Finance companies, including MGM, Microsoft, Warner Bros., Kinkos (now FedEx), in business legal capacities. For additional info and services visit or and To learn more about Estate Plans, financial literacy or how an Estate Plan can help you build and protect a lasting legacy  Contact Heather at 818-805-9099, or

© Heather Atkinson and Clare Creative Communications, Inc. 2021



A woman’s ability to unconditionally love is universally accepted. Our innate disposition to

Unconditional Love

Maternal Love

care for others, especially family is undisputed.  “Mother’s Love” is depicted in timeless art,  for example Duccio di Buoninsegna’s 14th century painting of  “Madonna and Child”. Similar images have been reproduced in every culture, in all races, even among the animal kingdom.

“Agape” is a Greek word used to describe this fierce, loyal,  protective bond magnified in the “fairer” sex. It is exemplified in women warriors, even those without biological children, and those who have adopted causes or extended their families instead.  This view represents an , indispensable stereotype: the nurturing support that women bring to the table, the Boardroom, at dinner, or to people, interests and issues they care deeply about. Think of Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, Katharine Drexel, Jamaica’s fierce national warrior hero, “Nanny”, and our modern Oprah.

Filial LoveLet’s reflect on how women express love within family and then discuss ways to pass these traits and benefits to others. Specifically, how can we transfer intangible qualities and gifts inter- generationally.


The word “Agape” is derived from  ancient Greek word and means unconditional love,  a selfless, nurturing “Jesus” type love. A love that puts the needs of others before personal gain. Most women readily relate to it, and seldom understand why they are misunderstood when sharing it. To them their love or good intentions should be obvious, even when beguiled by others, or misinformed. This is why misunderstood women publicly break down and cry; feel rejected or maligned when good intentions are thwarted by malicious intent. This trait is evident irrespective of whether the relationship is biological, or among strangers. Some people may say, taken to an extreme,  its an inability to discern or sense danger, but I disagree. Its more of an protective sense, a desire to preserve the whole and build community than to self destruct by “one-upmanship”.

I  remember growing up in a culture where on Sundays Mom would always cook enough that whoever “drops in” could have a meal.  I also remember at the market female “higglers”, subsistence farmers, would always give children a “brawta” (a little extra for stopping by their stall).  Women routinely make sacrifices, even when they have little material goods to give that promote the welfare of others above their own interest.


Sometimes when speaking with a client or family member, I hear comments like:

“What do I care about what happens to my money and property after I am gone?”

“If there are problems related to what’s left behind, its not my problem, I won’t be around to worry about it.”

This is shortsighted and perpetuates a futile cycle, where growth and strengths become  beyond reach,  where each generation starts from the bottom.  It reflects an absence of foresight, one without any vision for scale, or generational gain. It becomes a Lose: Lose mentality. These statements show that love has been hijacked, replaced by an unharnessed, distorted emotion.  Yes I understand that  past experiences, psychological and economic factors  contribute to the distortion, but it is far from  ideal and a state to move beyond..

On the other hand an ability and willingness to think beyond self, to protect, preserve and provide for family, is an expression of  true love, usually encouraged by Mom.  A family’s unwillingness to invest time or resources for future gain is a condition that can be resolved. Actively taking responsibility to plan ahead is important.

The pandemic has shown us, that life is unpredictable. Things change quickly when we least expect them to. Do not be caught with “your pants down”  Be proactive to do what’s right for yourself and family over time. One way to proactively provide for Mom and loved one is by using an Estate Plan.

What Exactly Is An Estate Plan?

An Estate Plan is more than a simple will. it includes at a minimum a Durable Power of Attorney (appointing somebody to act on your behalf), and a simple Will, or Trust.  A colleague shared a story about sisters who spent thousands of dollars fighting in court over a $5 hairbrush. Their grandmother would brush their hair at night and talk to them while doing so. Upon her death, the sisters valued the $5 hairbrush more than the money and family home they jointly inherited. They spent all their money fighting in court to get the hairbrush!  The animosity and bad feelings that developed destroyed them!  I am sure this was the last thing Grandma wanted. Yet, it could have been avoided if there was a proper Estate Plan disposing of sentimental gifts like the hairbrush, as well as tangible ones like the family home.  Had this been adequately included in an Estate Plan, Grandma could have continued to reassure of her love, and guide both girls beyond her grave.

A Trust is a legal arrangement through which one person the Trustor or Grantor holds legal title for another, called the beneficiary. The Trust is designed to ensure that during any eventuality, loved ones know a Grantors wishes, and a Trustee is authorized to protect assets while minimizing generational losses (for example, due to taxes, creditors or lawsuits). One advantage is that a Trust can easily shift assets, or conveniently transfer property to beneficiaries beyond any lifetime, even if a family member has special needs and has to rely on government assistance during infirmity or a disability.

An excellent Estate Plan will also include medical directives, guardianship or conservator documents that protect and preserve assets, including income distribution, even when family members want to avail themselves of government benefits.

Think about it, what if you made proactive arrangements that rewarded Mom’s sacrifice for family, her hard work for a cause, while ensuring that your family’s interest is preserved  for multiple generations?  This kind of thinking preserves a family and mother’s memories. It memorializes her Lasting Legacy of Love.  Do you want to learn how to create multi-generational estate plans that give peace of mind and prosperity to your children, and theirs?  You can. There is a relatively small cost to planning, but in some situations  it is nominal, for example a starter Will or Trust kit is available at: You can always reach out for a consultation before or after if you need to professional help.

In other situations, as with “blended families” or family members who have “special needs”  documentation of the Plan is more nuanced.  What really matters is that you get started. Do not leave your legacy to chance, reduce the odds of  untoward conflicts, wasted spending, or tax consequences.  You can discuss your Legacy of Love without obligation at:

© Heather Atkinson &