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!

Jody

*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?

Time.

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!!

SIGN UP HERE.

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

Sending love!

Jody

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,

Jody

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Weigh station up ahead!

Every time we take an extended car ride – long enough to be out of the city limits – there’s always something that reminds me of my Papa J, my paternal grandfather.

I think of him every time I see “weigh station up ahead” signs along the highway.

On our last road trip, seeing these signs hit me in a more tangible way.

I think of Papa J every time I see the signs because of a story I was told about him.

As we drove this last time, I tried to remember how I heard the story. Who told it to me? Did Papa J tell it to me? Or, did my dad? Sharing a story with me about his father?

I decided it had to be the later because in thinking about my Papa J, he wasn’t the “braggadocious” type. It didn’t fit his nature to share such a story. He was mild mannered and kind. So, so kind. I actually don’t remember him saying much. But, I do remember him always looking at me lovingly. He was the kind of grandfather you just wanted to run up and hug.

So, my dad must have told me the story.

Then, I wandered, do I know any other stories about my paternal grandfather?

The unfortunate answer is no.

As we drove, I could not help but wish I knew more about him.

The one story I remember, that I think of every time I see a “weigh station” sign goes like this… Papa J was in the home building business and he had truck drivers that would be transporting building materials long distances. Long enough to be on the highway where their load would be weighed. When one driver pulled through the weigh station, to have his load weighed, it far exceeded the weight limits. Apparently, it had rained and the load (I think roofing materials) had soaked up all the rainwater and became exceedingly heavy.

I remember the story being told with laughter – that this was a mishap, an unfortunate event. However, I do not remember an ‘ending’ or how this poor truck driver remedied the situation.

That’s what I think about every single time I see a “weigh station up ahead” sign.

My Papa J and the heavy load.

The story is what it is. And, I am grateful to be reminded of him when I am.

Yet, what I wouldn’t give to know more. To be reminded of him at other times – not just on road trips.

What if I could see him telling me the story?

Give the gift of sharing your stories with loved ones. I am living proof they will want to hear them.

Sending love,

Jody

P.S.

Whose stories would you love to have on video?

Right now, the Missing Pieces Plan is hosting a GIVEAWAY for a family legacy video. It’s valued at over $2,500!

Sign up to WIN! 

And let BOLD LIGHT Productions produce your family’s legacy video!

ENTER HERE: http://missingpiecesplan.com/contest/

Emmy…a true inspiration!

A few weeks ago, I met with Emmy and her husband, Frank, to work through their “Missing Pieces.”

Before leaving, she pulled out a book she created for her granddaughter. She’s created the same book for all her grandchildren. The book chronicles their lives, includes notes and prayers and overflows with pictures and…love.

What a beautiful expression of love to her grandchildren. What I would call a priceless gift.


I am sharing Emmy’s books with you today as inspiration. Whether you “go all out” as she has or just simply write a single note. Either way, the gesture is the same.

Love.

It doesn’t have to be hard or cumbersome. It can be easy to express your love, share your legacy.

Get #inspired. Spread #love. Share your #legacy.

Sending #love and #inspiration,

Jody

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Here comes some….#inspiration!

 

A lot of Missing Pieces Plan stories I share may not happen to all of us.

But, one thing’s for sure, death will happen to all of us. As one recent article I shared stated, it’s life’s “one certainty.” (Read article here.)

Bummer, I know.

I know you’re likely tired of me bombarding you with this fun fact. But, here’s the message I want to share with the Missing Pieces Plan… accepting this reality will be a gift.

Yes, a gift.

A gift to you and a gift to your loved ones.

Here’s why.

When we can accept this reality, and realize that WE get to determine how we want to live out the rest of our days and beyond, I believe something clicks.

Something clicks in our desire to start dreaming, start planning and take hold of what can be ours to create.

I am hopeful that you’ll be excited (yes, I said “excited”) to do this ‘work’.

Without a doubt, you can leave how you die, what happens to your belongings and how you leave your loved ones up to ‘fate.’

But, why? Why do that?

Why, when YOU can be in charge. You can direct the ship.

Your ship.

As I have been doing more speaking engagements for the Missing Pieces Plan, I am encouraging listeners to think, dream, and create the life they want BEFORE even picking up my book.

Of course, I want you to buy my book ;-), but I believe it’s in the thinking, the daydreaming, the crafting of your wishes that you can then make your wishes “come to life.”

Thinking is not something we allow ourselves to do – certainly not in the context of ‘dreaming’ how we want our life to go.

But, I am giving you permission. And, a very good reason to do it. By planning how you want your days to go, how you want to leave (because we all will), you can begin to live your FULLEST life now.

How?

  1. Grab a journal.
  2. Envision you’re not here.
  3. And write the answers to these questions (as a start) …
    • What would you want that to look like? Everything from belongings passed down to how you want your family financially positioned.
    • What’s important for the remainder of your life?
    • How do you want to spend your last days if you fall ill?
    • How do you want to spend your last days healthy?

By planning before a crisis hits, we will be able to live out the remainder of our days on our terms.

“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in a magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. “The proper function of man is to live, not exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall USE my time.”

~ Jack London

This month, I hope to #inspire you. 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 August, HERE.

Sending love and….#inspiration!!

Jody

​A gift of inspiration for you! A FREE book summary…

Early on, when I started working on the “Missing Pieces Plan,” I drafted a summary of the book, Being Mortal.

Being Mortal is a #1 New York Times Bestseller by Atul Gawande.

Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, is a surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Their Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

Atul has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1998 and has written four New York Times bestsellers: Complications, Better, The Checklist Manifesto, and most recently, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.

In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.


Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.

Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.

Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

As a bit of inspiration, I am giving you the summary of Atul’s New York Best Selling book…FREE.

To get your FREE summary, CLICK HERE.

Sending love! And…inspiration,

Jody

​Patricia’s Story… “He pre-paid for the beer…”

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking to a group of retired insurance professionals at their monthly meeting.

Prior to my presentation, one of my hosts shared a few details of her father’s service with me. It was such a fun story that I asked if she’d be willing to share it with me so, I could share it with you. I am grateful she said yes.

Here’s Patricia’s story of her father’s #celebration. May it give you some #inspiration or at the very least, some laughs.

My Dad was 93 when he passed away. He had not been up to par for about six months, but still getting around. He had five children. When he passed, my sister called me and said, “what should I do?”

My Dad had already gone to the funeral home in Savannah and arranged his funeral and had paid for everything and written his own obituary. He had also been to the cemetery, in Brunswick, GA., which is where he wanted to be buried along with my Mother and his parents and two ex-wives. It was a pretty crowded plot and a very, very old cemetery. He had left instructions of which church to contact for graveside services.

Next, he left instructions, and money, for a luncheon in Brunswick at an old restaurant that we would all go to when we would meet in Brunswick, from time to time to visit those that had passed. He also wanted us to invite some of his classmates that he kept in touch with. Before the service the priest asked one of my sisters, who are all these people that are buried here? She excused herself and said she would be right back she had to go help her Aunt. So, the priest looked at me and said, “well you are the oldest, you must know who all these people are in this plot.” I thought of a polite way to answer …since my Dad had been married five times and I didn’t want to get into that, I answered, “Well, Father, let’s just say we are not the Waltons.” He said, oh…oh…I understand. (It was sort of funny. You had to know my Dad…He did it his way!)

The service concluded with that song by Frank Sinatra. And all the family returned to the cemetery, after the luncheon and drank the beer in honor of Daddy…he paid, of course.

I’ll leave you with Patricia’s note to me…

“I was not aware that my dad had done all the things he did…it would have been nice if he would have shared this with us, as you said, “the gift of conversation” is special.”

Gift 1: Doing the pre-planning

Gift 2: “The gift of conversation”…talking to your loved ones about your wishes and plans

Want some help with pre-planning your celebration?

In the Missing Pieces Plan we have a Guide to help you pre-plan your celebration.

Today only, we are giving it to you FREE. Click HERE to get your Guide to Pre-planning your End-of-Life Celebration.

Want the whole book?

To order your copy of Missing Pieces Plan, click here: http://missingpiecesplan.com/amazon.

Sending love!

Jody

​How writing your obituary today could benefit you – and your loved ones

The benefits of writing your obituary today. Yes, today.

Write my obituary now, as in, today? YES! Here’s why…

A friend of mine recently told me how her mother made her sit down and write her obituary when she was twenty. Twenty! I love this! My friend wasn’t sure of her mother’s motives but I would guess her mom wanted to help set her daughter’s path. Maybe to help her see where she wants to focus her life? What she would want to be known for, life for?

What if I told you that writing your obituary today would help you solidify your values, craft your legacy and live now?

What do you value? Crafting your obituary, ‘the story of you’ in one column I believe, will help you solidify your values. To do this, let’s start by figuring out what is important to you. What your top 5 values? Examples of values are family, education, community, spirituality, health, etc.

What causes are important to you? A great exercise to determine causes that resonate with you is to take a newspaper and circle the headlines that speak to you. Notice if you feel outraged, compassion or indifferent. Circle the headlines that ignite a feeling inside of you. Then, identify what causes they relate to. This is an excellent way to find out what you care about.

If your “legacy” were summed up in one column, what would it say?

To me, by telling your story, you are crafting your legacy. How? Start my making a list of your accomplishments. Then, make a list of what you would like to accomplish in the years ahead. Finally, spend time writing your goals for next 5 years, 10 years,15 years. You get the idea. You now have a list of all you’ve accomplished, as well as, a list of what you intend to accomplish. You are crafting your legacy – what you want to be known for. By writing it down, you’ll have a roadmap to live your best life.

Speaking of your best life, reflect on the lists you’ve just made. Relish in your successes and accomplishments. And, I believe that by naming your future goals, you’ll likely accomplish those, too. Having a purpose, knowing what you stand for, and what excites and invigorates you, will guide you to live a fuller life NOW.

So, what if I asked you to write your obituary today? What would you say? What would you include? What do you want people to remember most about you? What did you live for? And most importantly, are you doing those things now?

Your obituary is your imprint on this world, your community, your family and friends.

Let’s make sure it reflects your values, is representative of the legacy you want to leave and encourages you to live your best life now.

Sending love,

Jody