Are You Sure Your Estate Documents are Current?

Posted on Sep 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

PBS’s Next Avenue columns are always worth reading, but the following article is particularly relevant.

Are you sure you have all the necessary documents in place regarding your incapacity? Your death?

Do you understand why is it wise to update certain documents?

Do you work with clients who could benefit from receiving this information?

The Biggest Estate Planning Mistake People Make

By Brad Wiewel, estate attorney

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Will Trump Presidency Be a Razor Blade in the Hands of a 3-Year-Old or Not? *

Posted on Nov 30, 2016 in General Grief, Uncategorized

trump

“To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.”Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness

In the last weeks, clients have asked me, “What were people thinking when they voted for Trump? My answer has been some form of: “They weren’t thinking, they were feeling. If a person doesn’t feel safe, they are less likely to be able to think –  so they take a stab in the dark.”

They did and now we shall see.

The Mourning After the Election

Many agree with David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, who said in his Nov. 13th online comment: “(Trump’s) level of egotism is rarely exhibited outside of the clinical environment.”

  • Few voters are aware of recent research showing roughly 20% of CEO’s are psychopaths – the same rate found in the prison population.
  • US Emory University researcher Scott Lilienfeld found that psychopaths are over-represented in the fields of politics, business, and high-risk sport. UK Oxford psychologist Kevin Dutton’s research showed that CEO’s, lawyers, TV/Radio media, salespeople and surgeons are the professions with the highest number of psychopaths.

How does a psychopath behave?

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Are You Mad as Hell or Just Sulking?

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 in General Grief, Uncategorized

men_holding_hands

We have just experienced the largest mass shooting in the history of this country and are now exploring the back story of how the assassin came to be mentally unbalanced enough to commit a mass murder.

We crave the back story to make sense of it.

But everyone has a back story. And the back story of a mass murderer is always one of psychological imbalance.

OK, we need to focus on mental health, but we can’t ever control for violence if a person is willing to die to kill. What we can control is the type of weapon the mass murderer uses and how many are killed.

This isn’t rocket science, but every clarion call leads to Congress shooting down a ban on assault weapons.

Is Congress filled with cowards?

The back story of a typical congressional member is his/her need to raise incredible sums of money to get reelected. The NRA provides campaign funding. As a result many in Congress put their job security ahead of their constituent’s lives. To narrow it down a bit more: many in Congress sacrifice our lives for their livelihoods. To drill down even deeper: as a body, the US Congress arms criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill with assault weapons.

OK, we need to focus on election reform, but we can’t control for the intoxicating lure of special interest money. What we can control is who stays in Congress and who doesn’t.

This isn’t rocket science, but every clarion call to remove members who stand in the way of gun control dies because of voter apathy.

Who holds the real power over Congress?

You.

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Silent Suffering

Posted on Jan 30, 2016 in Suicide, Uncategorized

suicide_rescue

The Ohio Columbus Dispatch spent nine months examining the suicide crisis that has arisen in part by a broken mental healthcare system.  I was unaware that the incidence of every disease has declined in this country except for mental illness.

Suicide claims more people age 15-24 than you realize. 

The newspaper’s fifteen-minute video invites us to pay attention to the subject of depression.  We don’t want to hear about it—but we need to.

In a recent five-minute radio spot on NPR’s Here and Now program, Dr. Lisa Dixon, Professor of Psychiatry and Center for Innovations at Columbia University Medical Center, says there are more than 2 million schizophrenics in the US.  Her program (OnTrack NY) is showing success where others are failing. What is she doing differently? One thing: Her program allows the individual to take an active part in mapping out their medical/counseling protocol rather than simply being handed a prescription.

Mental illness seems to be a priority only when it affects our own family

But mental illness IS affecting your family. Young people aren’t just killing themselves—they are killing innocent people like you—as well. Maybe this fact, and the plain ol’ fear that comes with it, will drive funding for mental illness to match that of other diseases.

What can you do to help?

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10 Seconds of Silence for Those Who Loved You into Being

Posted on Jan 16, 2016 in Holidays, Uncategorized

It is January 2016.

Yes.

Another year begins.

Yes.

The world didn’t end on Jan 1, 2000 as many predicted.

No.

That was 15 years ago and we now face a level of real risk few would ever have anticipated on Jan 1, 2000. Today our world is more complicated, the problems more convoluted. 

So how does one feel good about the new year? I suggest you click on the 1997 video below and hear Fred Rogers ask for 10 seconds of silence to honor those who loved you into being.

If you remember Fred Rogers, the people you honor have likely died. They may not have been your parents. But for most of us there was a person, maybe even a neighbor, who loved us into a being capable of acting on behalf of the greater good this coming year.

YouTube Video Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upm9LnuCBUM

 

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Talking to your Children & Grandchildren about the Paris Attacks

Posted on Nov 22, 2015 in General Grief, Uncategorized

paris

Children often hold vs. share their thoughts and feelings. So adults shouldn’t assume their children aren’t thinking about Paris because they’re not talking about it.

It is critical to set aside family time after any tragedy. The more time together, the greater chance of having a meaningful conversation.

Psychologist Paul Coleman and author of Finding Peace When Your Heart Is in Pieces, was interviewed often this week about how to talk with children about the Paris tragedy. He says it is naive to expect a blanket statement such as “Don’t worry – nothing to will ever happen to you” to be helpful.

What is possible vs. what is probable
Psychologist Michael Yapko agrees with Coleman about how best to confront anxiety over future uncertainty: consider the difference between what is possible and what is probable.

How do you explain this concept to a young child?

You might say, “It is possible something like Paris could happen but it isn’t likely.” Nothing has happened in our community like this before, and it isn’t likely that it ever will. But if there is an emergency this is what you should do.”

Continue from there to give them a plan: who should they listen to; who do they call if they have a phone, etc. Creating a plan is engaging and will give them a sense of power.

What I have suggested above is only part of longer conversations that need to take place.

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