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  • Karen McPhail, RN, MSN


In my daily practice I often see many missed opportunities for individuals to plan and have peace of mind for the future. I am constantly educating not only patients, but those in the healthcare field on the need for long term care planning and the importance of documenting in detail one's expressed wishes. Many unfortunate situations, both medically and financially can be prevented with advanced planning. Our RN care management staff make this a simple and supportive process by guiding individuals in all aspects while taking a holistic approach in collaboration with other reputable experts and key team members, such as our guest blogger below. Our goal is to provide ongoing support and peace of mind, by ensuring that a fluid, yet detailed and thorough plan for the future is in place with all parties clearly understanding the steps for moving forward in positive way.

Relational estate planning complements this process well for many. What is relational estate planning and can it be beneficial to me? This weeks blog coming from experts in this area, the Law Offices of Joshua E. Hummer will address this key question.


Do you think about wills, trusts, or a task on your life to-do list that you know you should really get around to? Do you think about your family, and how you’ll provide for them? Do you think about how your assets are organized?

Different people have different end-of-life goals, but almost all of us have one thing in common: we each have people in our lives whom we love. Whether you have a big family and circle of friends, or just one other person you care for, chances are there is someone whose life you influence, and who will be affected when you die by the way you do or do not plan your estate. Unfortunately, (and illogically!), most estate planning is focused primarily on money, and not on people.

When we were writing our recently published book, “Fearless: Facing the Future Confidently with Relational Estate Planning” we wanted our families, clients, friends, and community to understand how much planning their estates with their loved ones in mind can positively impact those important relationships.

In essence, relational estate planning is using your end-of-life plan to focus on your loved ones’ well-being, rather than simply focusing on yourself and on how you’ll distribute your assets.

There are many ways you can use the law to care for those you hold dear beyond a simple will or trust, which is what we love to discuss with people.

With different estate planning tools, you can protect and provide for your loved ones, avoid family conflict, leave a legacy behind, preserve special and

important memories, and relieve burdens related to your passing that have potential to overwhelm your loved ones. In short, relational estate planning has the potential to be your final, selfless act of love toward others.

Relational estate planning does not appeal to everyone, however. It takes forethought, soul-searching, intentionality, and work that traditional estate planning doesn’t require. It is self-sacrificial by nature because it’s for other people. But ironically, we’ve seen that those who are willing to set up a relationship-centered plan experience more confidence, peace of mind, and sense of purpose about the future than those who simply check the box beside “get a will drafted” on their to-do list.

If you’re someone who wants...

• assurance about your loved ones and their future,

• confidence that you’ve done everything you can to meet the needs of those around you,

• the end of your life to be focused on your relationships, and not your assets,

• the relief of knowing you’ve set your family up for success in your absence, or

• certainty that you’ve fulfilled your role in the lives of those you hold dear,

...then relational estate planning is for you.

For a deeper look into relational estate planning, read “Fearless: Facing the Future Confidently with Relational Estate Planning” by Joshua E. Hummer, ESQ. and Anna Michal.

Visit: or contact Pam Reynolds, for more information.

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