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Welcome to personal growth, lifestyle, real talk, real results. I’m your host, Lisa Latymer, results strategist and coach, helping you become your most valuable asset in life and business. Be sure to follow me on Instagram at Personal Growth Lifestyle. So today, my guest is Pamela Moss, owner and estate planning attorney at Law Mother and host of the Working Moms podcast. Thanks so much for joining us today, Pamela.
Thanks for having me, Lisa.
Oh, wonderful topic. I don’t think it’s spoken about often enough. So estate planning goes far beyond ensuring the financial security of your loved ones. But what are some of the things that estate planning includes?
Yeah, that’s a great question. So for people who are parents listening, right. Your estate plan also includes who you would want to care for your kids if your kids were minors.
It also includes your disability protection. So if something were to happen to you, who would you want to care for you? And what are the types of medical decisions? What are the things that you would want to have happen? Right. So you really want to take the burden off your loved ones when they’re going through something like that of having to decide should she stay on life support, should she not? What should she do? And then if you’re a business owner, it’s really ensuring that if something were to happen to you, what would happen to your business?
Yeah, and it’s funny because when we first spoke, I was kind of like, you know, I’m not sure if this subject goes into, like personal growth and development, but if you think about it, things have been kind of out of the blue. And so I think that taking care of those who would be left to have to deal with all of that, you’re going through the emotional aspect of it. But then you also have a ton of paperwork and so many things that you have to line up.
So it’s kind of not just for your peace of mind while you’re here, but it really is for the peace of mind and the the mental clarity for those that are going to be that you’re going to be leaving behind. And I know it sounds so, so melancholy to talk like that, but there are certain realities that we have to talk about and deal with in life, right?
Absolutely. Yeah. And I think there is this kind of fear that talking about it will make it happen. Right. Like, if I talk about my dad, then it’s going to make it happen sooner. And of the thousands of state plans I’ve put in place, I’ve never seen any correlation or connection between someone putting a plan in place and then tragedy strikes. Yeah, but, you know, the vast majority of us are going to become disabled at some point in our life.
Hopefully we recover and having planning for yourself is good and then all of us eventually are going to die. So having a plan in place, you really get to have that peace of mind today, knowing that when the time comes, your family is going to be not left with a mess, not left with a legal nightmare, but left with something that is really a true legacy.
Right. And I got an understanding of this just about a year and a half ago when my husband had a massive stroke one day after his , birthday. I mean, you’re talking about a young guy who just retired from his job and who was very active, took great care of himself and then got his recovery is going well. But our life could have been so drastically different right now had he not had his ducks in a row. Right.
So that it’s not exactly estate planning, but this type of planning is so important because things do happen. Life comes at you really fast and you want to insure yourself and those who come after you, you have to be proactive. I feel like it’s always best to make a decision from a place of being proactive than being forced into a corner and being reactive.
Absolutely, and I think for a lot of people, you work so hard your whole life to ensure your family’s success.
And so it is just a natural extension of it to make sure that that is carried on in a way that is consistent with your values.
Yeah, it’s funny because I was going to ask you to do you find that most of your clients I don’t know if they would tell you this, but are they coming to you willingly or was there someone like a wife or someone else in the family that had to, like, nudge or shove them into the whole conversation?
Yeah. So I would say, you know, luckily the vast majority of clients I work with are coming to me from a place, but they feel like they are ready and want to and are excited. I do see a lot of people who unfortunately they experience this, the bad side of this with another family member. So a lot of my clients do come to me after their parents pass away and it was a complete mess and they ended up in probate court and they don’t want to leave that mess for their kids or they have a friend or a family member.
Some of my clients get a nudge from their financial planner or financial adviser to get it done. But but usually there is some some level of readiness by the time they make it to me.
So. Right. And it’s just, you know, I feel like there are a lot of conversations happening now. I don’t know if it’s because of covid, but conversations around building generational wealth. Right. And I feel that estate planning is a huge contributor to building that generational wealth. So not just in taking that burden off of other people’s shoulders, but in allowing the generations that come after you to have that advantage that maybe you didn’t have. Absolutely.
Yeah, I definitely have seen that be a focus. And I think, you know, now is a better time than ever. Right, because we have access to it’s not just the wealthy, the top one percent that has access to estate planning tools. And that’s one of the things I’m passionate about when I give educational talks and when I speak on podcasts is really bringing the tools of the top one percent use to the masses. Right. Because historically, estate planning really was seen as being just for the top one percent and they were able to pass on that generational wealth.
And I truly believe knowledge is power and these tools are just as important for the rest of us than the ninety nine percent for us to pass on what our wealth is and what we have, whether that is more modest or whether it’s continuing to grow wherever it is, it’s going to cost the family much more down the road. And and I always say even more modest families with more modest means their families are going to have to shoulder a higher burden if there’s no plan in place.
So it’s really there’s really a good spectrum that this planning can be very useful for.
Right. And I’m actually so grateful that you brought that up, because when just by the title estate planning. I know perception is everything. Right? So when someone says estate planning, I think a lot of times we think of someone who has this massive home with acres of land and all sorts of jewelry to pass down and things like that. So what what do you say to that, that person or that family that is kind of more of a modest means.
Maybe they don’t even own a home, but they have an apartment or just a smaller living space. What can you say to them to to put them into the mindset to at least say, hey, you know, there’s there’s value there and there is still something that you can pass on that would be of value?
Yeah, well, so I mean, the natural one is if their parents. Right. So if you’re a parent and you pass away when your child is a minor and you if you don’t have a plan in place, then you don’t have any say of who’s going to raise your kids. And that’s really scary because essentially a stranger, a judge is going to make that decision. And so you’re fine. So your family members are going to go to court.
They’re going to spend the money. And then we all know. Right, a judge might choose someone that is someone that we wouldn’t want to choose. So I would say for every parent, there is a baseline of planning. But you need to have in place to make sure that your choices are honored and that the kids are going to be protected and be with who you would want them to be with. So it sounds like estate planning is not just about the tangibles, but it’s also about these other major decisions.
If you just because you don’t own a home and acres of land doesn’t mean that you don’t have other very important decisions that need to be made. In your life that are going to affect those who are left behind? Absolutely, yeah. So I think it’s there’s a little bit of a mindset shift there that that people have to make in terms of how they think of estate planning to give it, I guess, more of a sense of urgency, even if they don’t feel like that that applies to them.
Yeah, I mean, a lot of times I call it legal life planning. Sometimes I call it legacy planning, whatever, you know, these different flavors of the same word. But yeah, I mean, it’s all about making sure that your really your choices are honored and that your family is protected and that you get that peace of mind today knowing that everything is taken care of. Absolutely. So beyond the financial aspects of estate planning, there is this beautiful concept that you just talked about it, the idea of creating a legacy.
So, you know, having this thing that passes on to your loved ones stories, you know, different just different things. Do many of your clients think about that aspect of the estate planning or is it more the financial and tangible that they’re concerned about?
Yeah. So I think, you know what like the inherent driving, motivating motivation for everybody is kind of a deeper meaning, like what am I passing on to my family? And I always tell my clients, you know, your loved ones aren’t going to snuggle up with an estate planning binder at the end of this and feel comforted when you leave them.
Right. They’re not going to, like, snuggle up with the documents. And so we always include with our process a legacy interview. And, you know, you can start this just by listening to become my client, but you can do this.
And the story I always share is I had a colleague who her father passed away and all she had to remember him by was a voicemail that just said, call me back. And she listened to that voicemail hundreds of times. And how many how much more powerful would it be if she had more to remember her dad by besides his voicemail? That was just like, call me back. Right. But we never think it’s going to happens. We never take the time to create something more meaningful.
And so I always encourage my clients to think about one of those stories, one of those insights. What are the values that we bake it into our process? So we do an interview with them and include it in part of their Sufyan, where we ask them a lot of these questions about their children, about each other, about their values, and include that in their state plans so that their family members have this video recording of them talking about all these things.
But if you’re if you’re listening to this, something simple, we’re all doing zoom right now with our family. And we did this the other day. I was we were on Zoome calls with my husband’s grandparents that are in their 90s and we hit record and I asked them to share. We have a six month old baby girl. And I asked them to share stories. I asked them to share some of their thoughts. We got so many beautiful memories that we know someday we’ll be able to share with her.
We’ve started doing that with our parents. And so just really taking the time to ask them some of those questions and recording it and saving it somewhere for your kids as they grow older and. And for you. For yourself. For your children.
Yeah, that’s amazing. I mean, we’re recording this podcast right now on Zoome so you can have quite a lengthy chat on Zoomsix-month-oldZoom and save it easily to your, to your computer or whatever. So I love that idea because it doesn’t cost anything. There’s no reason not to do it right. And I feel like something as long as it’s something that’s accessible and anyone can do it’s like why not do it.
Yeah. And you know, I’ve heard some people describe it as like leaving a love letter to your family, to you, so you can write if you’re you know, I always say encourage people to use the means that they feel comfortable with. Like, obviously, Lisa, you’re really comfortable on video. And so that’s going to be really comfortable for you. If you’re someone who loves to write, you know, write a love letter, write a love letter to the people you love and your family and and keep it so that they could have that if something were to happen to you.
And I feel like so many times I’ve even done this with my husband, especially when we were dating. You know, if you’re not at that point where you’re comfortable saying certain things and some people are just not comfortable expressing themselves and their true feelings, you know, putting that in a letter is just I feel like so beautiful. In a letter, you can always say those things that kind of get stuck in your throat when you try and when you try to speak them.
So I love that idea of writing love letters to different people in your family. So we’re going to take a little bit of a shift now, because I love speaking with women who are also running a business. You are obviously a boss. You are busy, you’re a mother. You have a work-lif. So I always love to get the opinion on the whole conversation between this concept of work life balance. What’s your. Take on that.
Yeah, so I guess I’m still a newer mom, so I haven’t chosen a political side right to work life balance. I’ve discovered I’ve discovered there is a big debate around the word balance. And and I’ve heard a lot of great things. Some people talk about harmonizing instead of balance because it’s unrealistic. So I have not firmly come up with, like, my take on whether or not I buy into it. I can tell you what what works for me in my life and what I’ve noticed so far in the six months so far that I’ve been as a new mom balancing it, only that those first six months.
Those are brutal when you’re just getting finding your footing. I remember!
Thatwork-life and I think for me, you know, I started my business back in almost two years ago. And so, you know, I didn’t have the advantage of taking a paid maternity leave or having as a business owner, I had to keep my business running while I had a newborn. And that caused a lot of stress for me of planning. And I had to get some advice.
And so I think for me, time blocking has kind of been the key for everything. So I really I’m really strict at prioritizing what are the certain areas in my life that are going to move my business forward. And I know the four activities that I need to focus my time on. And so when other things come in the door, when people are reaching out to me, I’m like, OK, does this fall into these these categories? And if it doesn’t, I’m saying no to them because I think especially as women are so and I know for me I feel like I have this tendency to overcommit over people, please.
And I had to really get very as a business owner when I launched my business, I to get very, very intentional around where my time was going because I didn’t have the luxury of being paid by someone else and them telling me where they wanted me to spend my time as a business owner.
You have to decide where you’re going to spend your time. And and if you’re not spending it wisely, you’re going to be spending your will. So, you know, getting really getting really clear on my priorities. And then I follow a podcast and a method from the Life Coach School, and it’s called Monday Hour One. But essentially what I do is every Monday morning for one hour, I go through a time, block everything on my calendar and I time block in the things that are helpful for me.
So I, I make sure I have time with my daughter in time to exercise and time with my husband and time with friends. Like that’s a priority. And then I go through a time, block everything else. And if I go through that habit and stick to it, I feel like I don’t spin my wheels every day going OK. Otherwise I find myself like really getting stressed out about about things I don’t need to be getting stressed out about.
So it just kind of puts it all there. And that’s how I that’s how I manage it. Absolutely.
And something so important in what you said that was so, such a great nugget that you just dropped getting clear on your business in terms of what moves it forward and what’s necessary versus everything else that could just kind of get put to the side. I think that so many of us fall into that kind of scramble where we don’t have the clarity, we’re not really sure or focused on what is actually going to move the business along with those those revenue creating activities.
So we’re doing the social media. We’re doing this. We’re doing that. We’re doing kind of all the things that are generically advise that we do in order to gain followers. So then you have an audience and then they become clients. I love the level of awareness that you seem like you were at and only being in business for two years. It’s amazing that you reach that level of clarity before you had your daughter so that you could know exactly what needs to be prioritized.
Because when you say prioritize to some people, it’s like prioritize. How can I prioritize one hundred things? Well, the point is, you’re not supposed to have one hundred is supposed to have it narrowed down to what’s going to, like you said, move things forward.
Oh, yes. And I know you’re kind of an expert in this as well. And like, it’s so, you know, I didn’t realize until I actually went down and wrote down. I always write down how long things are going to take so so I can time walk them. And until I did that activity, I didn’t realize there were certain activities in my head. I had been putting off and I was I had built them up as like for our tasks in my head and went just the simple activity of writing down, OK, these are my tasks and this is how much time it’s going to take.
And so I can put it in my calendar. I was like, holy crap, I have had this thing on my task list for three. Three weeks, it only takes 30 minutes in my head, I was so unaware I had I’d like been pushing off, I’m like, oh my God, I can get this done right now. I’m just going to get it off my checklist. And there’s so much it’s almost like when you are doing kind of health and wellness type stuff and kind of meal planning, you don’t realize how much your head is spinning about stuff accurately until you actually write it down.
And so it’s just that’s been kind of the big for me as far as my my life and and how I kind of keep everything running smoothly.
And, yeah, I love that tip. And I’m willing to bet that it’s always the task that we least want to do that we blow up and imagine it’s going to be like the four hour task gets left for like one week, two weeks.
Oh, that’s awesome. That’s an awesome tip. So for yourself, what are some of your kind of, like, sanity savers? Because I did this quick video on Instagram today is like I just I was food shopping and I was like, you know what? I’m in the mood for a Starbucks. And it was just like, it’s so funny how many times it’s not about how great Starbucks is. It’s about the fact that I pull over on a random side street, sit in my car, take a few breaths and just slowly drink and enjoy my Starbucks.
And I say, how many times has that saved my kids lives, my husband’s life and even my business? So what little things do you have like that?
Because it doesn’t always have to be a huge thing. Self care, right. What are some of your self care go to’s?
Oh, my gosh. I love that you pulled that out and I love that terminology. Sanity saver. That’s genius. And I think for me, I have this misconception that self care for for the longest time that self-carthat’s had to be something big and grandiose. Right. Like that had to be like a beach vacation or a full day spa day. And one of my friends who’s in the social work field, she was like, it’s all about like putting those little deposits in the bank account each day with the small things that add up so that when something big happens, you like you have that that’s reserves to handle it.
So it’s not about the big things, it’s about the small things. And so that really was like shook me. I’m like, what? Because in law school they don’t teach us about self care, like not like they do for like social workers and coaches. Like, no, it’s like so yeah. I think for me the exercising every day even I’m still in the postpartum bod, so it’s not the same working out that I did before. But just moving every day is like I have to do it, even if it’s a bike ride or if it’s a walk.
Walking the dogs like getting outside for me is even if it’s just for a few minutes for a walk or sitting outside on the patio, that’s like my big sanity saver for sure.
I love it. And you know what I always say? I like to think it was like the spa things. And I I’ve tried the baths with the fizziess. And the whole time that I’m sitting there trying to relax, I’m just running through the list of everything else that I should be doing, could be doing and quite frankly, would rather be doing in my mind.
So my fast and hard rule for self-care is self-care care is in the eye of the beholder. Like the only hard and fast rule is you have to be the direct beneficiary of it. So just moving, even though it’s not the body that you’re used to, you’re the one directly benefiting from it. And I love looking at it from the way that you put it as making a deposit. That is such an amazing way of looking at it.
Yeah. And I think that what you were describing to of like not enjoying it because you’re thinking about other things. And I think that’s something that time blocking has really helped me do, is say like this is my time block and I need to be present and I can enjoy it. And just even like what you were describing, like having the calling to see me or whatever you need to do to create that intentionality, I really do think it’s about being able to be present and be intentional, and I have no guilt about it. That really allows those shorter things to really, you know, add up and really make a difference.
Yeah, absolutely. So, Pamela, I love this conversation. I definitely want to have more of this with you again. So for now, can you just let everyone know, even though I’m going to have it in the show notes where they can find you, how they can work with you and where they can find your podcast as well?
Yeah. So you can find me at Lawmother.Com and on Instagram. I’m Law Mother Co. On TIKTOK. I’m Law MTikTok,other and on my website you can also link to it for free. Legal tool dot com. I have a tool where you can name legal guardians for free, so it kind of walks yo through the whole process, you can get a document going and get get started on the planning process and you can also link to my podcast, the Working Moms Podcast from Lawmother.com.
Awesome. So thank you so much for chatting with us today. I love a nice, well rounded conversation. Enjoy the rest of your day. We’ll see you soon. Thanks so much.
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