Why’d I write the Missing Pieces Plan?

“What if ‘something happens,’ how will you know where I hid the pearls?”  My mother-in-law asked me this before going into surgery a few years ago.

How would I?

Then, my mom had a freak accident where, for a moment, we weren’t certain she would make it. I realized, how would I know where her important documents where, if she had a Will, if she had an Advance Directive, how she would want to be celebrated, and most importantly all her stories.

How would I?

Then, after moving across country with our 4-year-old twin daughters, I wondered, how would the guardians of Gigi and Ryan know our wishes for them if ‘something happens?’

How would they?

“Something happens” to all of us…one day.

As Katie Couric says, “we are all terminal.”


And, we all plan to plan for it…one day.

The funny thing is, even after twenty years helping families plan, none of this occurred to me until it mattered.


And, it will matter to all of us one day.



“My family will know what to do.” It’s what many of think when it comes to planning for a life without us in it. Our family will know our wishes, our wants.

But, will they?

Making our wishes known is, I would argue, one of the greatest gifts we can give our loved ones. It provides a sense of peace. Let’s call it peace of mind and that, is priceless.


The message I hope to spread with the Missing Pieces Plan is that by planning and sharing our wishes, we give our loved ones a precious gift, a priceless gift – peace of mind. They will know what to do because we’ve planned for it and even better, we’ve told them our wishes.


How would I know my mother-in-law’s wishes? My mother’s wishes? My own wishes?

Ask them. Make them. Write them. Share them.

I would only know my wishes if I took the time to think about what I want and write them down.

I could decide the life I want my daughters to have if “something happened” which lead me to craft the life I want for them now. What’s important to me? Education? Values? How do we live into that life now?  


It doesn’t have to be hard. 

Crafting the life you want to live and leave can be fun, fulfilling, meaningful, enjoyable.



Let me help you.

For the month of January, I’m reposting the 30 Day Missing Pieces Plan CHALLENGE!


JUST Spend 1-2 minutes a day for 30 days towards getting your pieces DONE! And, you’re on your way to peace of mind.


Could I make it any easier for you? No way! And….no cleanse or trip to the gym required! 😉


Click HERE for the CHECKLIST!





Follow the Missing Pieces Plan on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn for your daily challenge!



I am with you.


You can do this.


Peace of mind is a priceless gift.


Gift on! Bring on the New Year!


Sending love,




Now is the time!

The holidays are here! Over the next days and weeks we’ll be gathering with family and friends.

Now is the time.

The time to share your wishes.

The time to ask a loved one their wishes.

The time to share your stories.

The time to ask a loved one about their stories.

The time to tell a loved one one wish.

The time to ask a loved one one wish.


WHAT?!? That’s morbid. I’m not going to talk about this stuff.

But, I ask, why wait? Why not NOW?

You won’t know what a gift it is, until it’s late.

Give the gift of peace to your loved ones.

You ask, “But how?”

Here are a couple of conversation starters…

  1. I’ve been reading this book, Missing Pieces Plan and the author stresses the importance of getting our “affairs in order” to leave a legacy, not a mess. And, to communicate my “wishes” to give peace of mind. I want to give you that gift so, here are a few of mine…
  2. Hey, I’ve been thinking about what I want when I die. Can I share it with you?
  3. Taking the burden off of you for planning my funeral is important to me. I want you to know my wishes.
  4. I don’t want to leave things a mess for you when I am gone. I want you to know where my important documents are…
  5. I’m putting pieces together for my end of life plan – is there anything you would like to know? Are there heirlooms that are important to you?

The magnitude of sharing just one wish for your end of life plan is far reaching.

We won’t be here to experience this gift we’ve given our loved ones. But, we can delight in giving them the gift now. We can settle into the feeling of peace of mind. We can feel the comfort we will be giving – even when our physical bodies are no longer here.

Now is the time.

Share just one wish, one stories, one want. Start the conversation. It’ll be a priceless gift.

Sending love and blessings for the happiest of holidays!


BEST gift EVER for the holidays!

YOU may not be ready to plan for end of life….

But, maybe you have a loved one that you wish would plan? Share their wishes with you?

SEND THEM A COPY of Missing Pieces Plan!!

(It’s really like you’re giving yourself a gift.;-)

Because even if they do one piece – one step in the direction of “leave a legacy, not a mess,” it takes a burden off of you.

  • Whom do you wish would plan their own funeral? Let you know their preferences?
  • Is there a family member you’d like to know whether they want to be cremated or buried?
  • Whom they want to have the silver, the watch, the painting?
  • Is there a family member you’d like to ask if any heirlooms hidden?
  • What about any stories you’d want to know about them?
  • Whom do you wish would have a Power of Attorney so you don’t have to scramble to find a way to pay their bills, manage finances “should something happen”?
  • Is there a family member (or 2 or 3) that you’d like to know their medical desires? What about if they want CPR performed at all costs?
  • What if you could know NOW where their important docs are? So you’d know where the most recent copy of their Will resides?
  • What about know if there’s life insurance?

…and there are so many questions, more missing pieces….

Send them a book! With Amazon it’s so easy! They even wrap for you!!

BUY A COPY (or two or three) HEREhttp://missingpiecesplan.com/amazon

Peace of mind GUARANTEED!!

Here’s to yours!



4 ideas to help you pass on family traditions this holiday season

As the holidays are approaching, I want to help you with 5 easy ways to pass down family traditions.

1. Holiday Decor

As you’re unwrapping and unboxing your holiday decor in preparation for decorating, are there any that hold special value to you? Are there stories you can share about an ornament, stocking or special holiday dish? Were any passed down to you? If so, from whom? And who would you like to get them when you’re gone?

Identify just 1 or 2 items you want to write about and jot down their significance to you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – just some of your notes and memories that you can wrap up with the items in the New Year.

2. Recipes

Food! This is a fun one! The holidays are a time for indulging on special treats that may only appear this special time of year. Do you have a favorite holiday treat? A favorite recipe? Are there recipes you make every year? Are there traditional foods you always had growing up? Are there recipes you want to make sure get passed down? Do you you have a memory of making a recipe as a child? What about a recipe mishap? (Like when I made the green bean casserole with frozen green beans that were suppose to thaw first.;-)

Make copies of recipes you cherish, write a story about one or two, share a favorite memory with a loved one.

3. Holiday memories

What are your favorite holiday memories? From childhood? From adulthood? Who did you spend your favorite holidays with? Where were you? Was it cold? Snowing? Are there any holiday memories you’re eager to make? Who with? Where?

Make a holiday memory book – past, present and future!

4. Traditions – past, present & future

In addition to food traditions, what traditions does your family have? What are you doing that your parents did? Your grandparents did? Were there religious services you attended? What are traditions you want to start?

It’s never to early to start new traditions. Writing them down is the first step to making them happen!

I love knowing the story of my grandfather’s parents collecting a goose for their holiday meal. I love the memory of my mom and uncles fighting over the holiday mashed potatoes. I love having the stockings and ornaments my grandmother needlepointed. Although I am not much of a cook, I enjoy trying my grandmother’s recipes at the holidays and now our daughters are enjoying making them, too.

Sharing heirlooms, recipes, memories, and traditions is a gift. And, a gift that keeps on giving. Best of all, it’s free. Just takes a little thought and time.

Give this priceless (free) gift this season!

Sending love to you and yours,


P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts, ideas, memories with ME! Remember..your story matters. It’s your legacy.

Email me at jody@missingpiecesplan.com

Putting my money where my mouth is…

I get it.

People send you emails all day long. Asking you to do something.

They ask me, too. 😉

Guess what? You opened this and I am not going to ask you to do ANYTHING!

Well, that’s not exactly true. I’d like you to keep reading. And, I’ll make it brief.

So, I get…

~ the dread

~ the wanting to “put it off”

~ the thinking that there’ll be time “one day”

Confession. I feel that way about my own story. (What I call my legacy).

So, today, I am putting my money where my mouth is and over the next 30 days I’ll be sharing my answers to the Missing Pieces Plan Legacy Questionnaire.

You know there’s a motive here, right?

Full disclosure.

Here’s what I think. That by reading my story, my memories, maybe it will help jog yours. It won’t see that hard or time consuming. And, maybe, just maybe, you’ll be motivated to grab a pen and your legacy questionnaire and start writing.

Don’t have your copy of the Legacy Questionnaire yet?

Click HERE and we’ll send you one, FREE.

Thanksgiving is coming. Around the table, what stories do you want to hear? What stories can you share?

Here’s to your legacy,



What keeps me going?

What keeps me doing this work? Helping people plan for something they often don’t want to accept, face, plan for?

Especially since I am not selling anything with proven results. I am not promising something tangible like weight loss or a degree or new found knowledge. I am promising the intangible…peace of mind. I am promising that after you lose a loved one, you may hurt a little less. Your loved one may hurt, anguish a little less after you die.

Sadly, most of us that know this gift have already been through a loss. A loss where no plans were made and their loss was compounded.

So, why you ask do I keep doing it?

Because, for one, I believe in it. I believe it’s necessary just as making sure your retirement assets are well managed or your trip to Hawaii is well planned.

And, who wouldn’t appreciate it when your friends send you silly pictures of them trying to read your book?

But silliness aside, other than my passion for it, what keeps me going is YOU.

When I hear a reader tell her friend how amazing the book is, how well organized it is.

When I get an email from someone telling me how easy it is to read and how important the information is.


Or, after a workshop when I am approached by strangers thanking me for putting the book together and sharing my message.


When strangers tell me they’ve had a meaningful conversation with a loved one after hearing me speak.

When a friend tells me she shared with her mom her wish for a certain bracelet when she dies.


Or, when Dr. Jennifer Brokaw (daughter of Tom Brokaw, of whom I’ve been a long time fan) likes one of my posts!


So, it’s YOU. It’s the countless families I hope MIssing Pieces Plan helps – in small or BIG ways.

If you’ve been compelled to start planning or have a conversation because of a post, the book, blog or otherwise, I would LOVE to hear from you.

And the best love is a share. Share the book with your family and friends!

Thanks for being you.

Always sending love,


Email me! 


Aunt Susie’s story…this was NOT her wish

Recently I got to spend time with my dear friend, Tori, and her mother.

I have been fortunate to witness a few of their family gatherings and celebrations which often took place at the home of Tori’s aunt, Aunt Susie. They included a one-of-a-kind jello salad and a plethora of casserole dishes – any kind that called for crushed potato chips on top.

~ ~ ~ Tori and her mom, 2017 ~ ~ ~

A year ago, I learned of Aunt Susie’s sudden passing and how profoundly she would be missed.

It wasn’t until my most recent visit with Tori and her mother that I learned of the ‘misfortunes’ that took place after her death.

Aunt Susie lived in a beautiful home that her father, Tori’s grandfather, had built. It was a unique home in style and architecture but made even more exquisite by it’s proximity to the pacific ocean. The home sat on a hill on 5th street…5 blocks from the Pacific Ocean. You could see the stunning view from the front yard.

The house was sold after Aunt Susie’s death. I hurt for the family’s loss of this treasure.

What I learned recently made my heart sink even more. (No matter how many of these stories I hear, they still break my heart. I am not sure I’ll ever be numb to the pain of missed pieces.)

Selling the house was not what Aunt Susie wanted. It was not her wish.

Aunt Susie had been married to her second husband for twenty years. She had one adult son and he had two adult children from a previous marriage.

Her husband had predeceased her years earlier. And when she died, the Wills they had drafted while they were married were the most current.

Tori and her mom knew Aunt Susie’s intentions (her wishes) were for her son to keep the home. It was communicated numerous times. They knew she wanted the home to stay in “her family.”

However, when her husband was living and presented “estate planning documents” for her to sign, she signed. She trusted her husband knew her wishes for the home and they’d be followed. Yet, as it turns out, what she signed provided that the house proceeds would be divided into thirds. Her son, whom she intended to be the sole heir, now had to split the proceeds of his mother’s home with his two step siblings. He would only receive one-third.

If this wasn’t bad enough, Aunt Susie also owned a triplex in the same beach community. Which, you guessed it, also had to be split in thirds.

This was not what Aunt Susie intended, wanted or wished.

Tori’s mom said when the attorney read the Will, their heads dropped. She added, “Aunt Susie would be heartbroken to know this happened this way.”

~ ~ ~

How can you ensure your wishes are followed?

Not only is it important to communicate your wishes, it’s also important to make sure they are documented properly.

Make your wishes known…start today!*

Sending love!


*If you’re ready to get started, start with the FREE Missing Pieces Plan CHECKLIST. Then start documenting your wishes in your Missing Pieces Plan worksheets. BUY YOUR COPY HERE.

#makeyourwishes #shareyourwishes #plannow #livenow #liveyourbestlife #now #MissingPiecesPlan

​Did you move to LA to write sitcoms?

When I first moved to LA and would share stories with new friends about my family, they would all ask if I’d moved to LA to write sitcoms.

The stories were that funny, that far-fetched, unbelievable. Worthy of the small screen.

So, if it’s family ‘drama’ or dysfunction holding you back from doing your own planning, not to fear. I’ve got you covered.

You can’t make others plan, but it doesn’t have to stop you from making your own plans.

Now, what’s stopping you?


Ah, there’s a solution for that one, too.

I just twisted my own arm and agreed to offer my course online ALL. THE. TIME.

Why launch it only for a brief period? (because that’s what the 20 something internet gurus told me to do?!)

But I’m going rogue! This ‘work’ of putting your pieces together is important, necessary, needed for all of us.

Now, what’s stopping you??

Sign up. Do it at your pace. Your timing. Get your pieces done.

And, when you sign up, 

I’m offering every participant a FREE hour with me. 

Some might argue it’s worth the entire price of the course! 😉 You be the judge…

I am here to walk this journey together. I’d love to have a one-hour strategy session with you to help you get started. Let’s do this!!


Questions? I’d love to hear them. Email me – jody@missingpiecesplan.com

Sending love!


Getting the pieces DONE. SOLVED.

Getting the pieces DONE. SOLVED.

On Monday and Wednesday I shared the pitfalls we all face when pieces are left missing from our traditional financial plans. What are loved ones are ‘left to figure out’ if we don’t plan.

The Missing Pieces Plan is the ONE resource that helps you fill in all the unknowns, all your missing pieces allowing you to plan for the inevitable and gain peace of mind.

To help you get started, today I am sharing 6 easy TIPS:


  1. Download the Checklist (when you sign up to subscribe).
  2. Prioritize the 3 “pieces” you want to complete first. I recommend choosing 3 to work on that make the most sense given your stage in life.
  3. Set the checklist aside. (Yes, set it aside.)
  4. Calendar time you can spend thinking, dreaming, and creating the life you want.
  5. Utilize your calendared time to journaling and write your wishes down for how you want to LIVE and LEAVE your loved ones.
  6. After you have a ‘good enough’ idea of your wishes and wants, pick up your copy of the Missing Pieces Plan and complete the worksheets corresponding to the 3 pieces, or chapters, which you chose in Step #2.


You can do this!


If you think you might need some further inspiration,

sign up to receive updates on the Missing Pieces Plan Course,

Get Your Pieces Done, launching in a few days, HERE.


The Get Your Pieces Done course will walk you through each chapter and corresponding worksheets to inspire you and help you complete your pieces. With the course, we help you make the time, work the worksheets, AND get your pieces DONE.

5 FREE books!

We have added 5 FREE copies of the Missing Pieces Plan to the Family Legacy Video GIVEAWAY!

It’s keeps getting BIGGER and BETTER!

Now, when you enter to win the

MPP Legacy Family Video Giveaway,

(valued at over $2,500)

You will be entered to win a FREE book!

FIVE winners will receive a copy of Missing Pieces Plan!

ENTER HERE: www.missingpieceplan.com/contest

And… please share with family and friends! When you do, you’ll have more chances to WIN!

Sending love,