It is that time of the year……Spring Estate Review Planning sessions!! (I do provide my clients with a no-cost estate plan review, but even if you aren’t a client, I hope that you will take out your estate plan, dust it off, read it and make sure it still works for your life). This week I had the privilege to spend some time with several of my long-term clients who had one thing else in common….they are all retired teachers. It got me to thinking about why I work so well with teachers, and how my love of teaching and education has impacted me and my practice.
Let’s start at the beginning and I must confess that at heart, I always wished to be a teacher as well as a lawyer. As a small child, one of my favorite games to play was school, where all my stuffed animals and dolls were my students, and I got to lecture them and assign homework. Once I started going to school, I began tutoring in elementary school in 6th grade, and continued to tutor throughout my junior high, high school and college years. I always loved explaining concepts that might seem difficult, having the student catch on, and learning how to make that process easier and more streamlined with each different opportunity to teach. In my own studies, I have been blessed with so many teachers who challenged me, steered me, and enlarged my perspective in so many ways. And, in my younger days, I did do some law teaching as well, at Oakland Community College.
As a lawyer, I view much of what I do in my practice as the opportunity to teach and learn. Teach my clients of the many different ways we can draft documents to make sure their requests and wishes get completed, and learn from my clients as to how they were able to reach so many different milestones in so many different ways. And one of the clear lessons that has come across loud and clear in my practice, is that giving back to what you love and value, reaps untold dividends in many ways. More on that theme next week, and until then…..don’t shred your estate plan in any spring cleaning, and even more importantly…..don’t ignore your estate plan in you spring cleaning efforts!