Be a Role Model: Are You Setting a Good Example for Future Generations?

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Greg McIntyre:             Hi, this is Greg McIntyre with McIntyre Elder Law, helping seniors protect their assets and legacies. And I’m here with fellow attorney Brenton Begley, who’s also with our firm. And we’re going to talk today about being a role model and what that means. And being a role model, perhaps not in the traditional sense that you might think of, but by setting an example for your family and for other reasons.

Greg McIntyre:             So how can estate planning Brenton, how can Elder Law in any way help you be a role model or set a precedent for your family?

Brenton Begley:            Right. So, you know, I wrote an article about this because I really think about this sort of thing when I’m talking to clients. The way that you can set an example and be a role model is to show your loved ones how prepared you were in your life and not only after your life, but during your life too. Life is easier if you’re organized, right? Life is easier if you plan ahead. You give this example all the time, Greg. Your son Tucker, right? If he has homework, when should he do it?

Greg McIntyre:             He should do it ahead of time. Not until the night before. Okay.

Brenton Begley:            That’s right [crosstalk 00:01:21].

Greg McIntyre:             Yeah. He should do it ahead of time.

Brenton Begley:            Is he going to do his homework ahead of time or the night before if he doesn’t have anybody to model that behavior after? If his dad waits until the last minute to do everything. If his dad doesn’t plan ahead, is he going to plan ahead? So the answer’s no.

Greg McIntyre:             Great role models that he has is his older brother. Okay? Who’s in college now who really, really gets ahead on his planning and homework and is very organized. And, I would like to think I am a good role model for him as well as far as planning, organization and living a good life to give him an example. To that point, my parents never talked about money.

Brenton Begley:            Right.

Greg McIntyre:             That was a horrible thing. And another great article we should write, by the way.

Brenton Begley:            Right. You can go to either extreme. Like your parents don’t talk about money.

Greg McIntyre:             Sure.

Brenton Begley:            And so that’s one extreme. And my parents always talk about money, always talk about bills, and so us kids felt guilty about the fact that, if we didn’t have money, right?

Greg McIntyre:             Right.

Brenton Begley:            So I think you can go either extreme. But if you can show that you’re secure, even if there’s … everybody has financial problems.

Greg McIntyre:             Sure.

Brenton Begley:            So if you can show that you’re secure, you’re not afraid to talk about money, have it works, but you don’t put that burden on other people, then that’s a balance you want to strike, because that’s the type of role models you want to be.

Greg McIntyre:             Sure. I think you have to be … how about I think if your parents, grandparents set a culture and a family of planning, being financially responsible of talking about those things, as opposed to simply ignoring them and act like they don’t exist, then you could change the trajectory of your family by being a role model by saying, “Look, I am doing planning for my behalf and your behalf. My foundational documents are in place.” I love it when people come to me and say, “It was so easy to operate things when something happened to mom and she needed some help. I was able to come in as the healthcare agent, under the the healthcare power of attorney. We were able to manage all accounts so that all bills were paid. And she already had the planning set up so that her property passed maybe outside of probate and was protected against any liens like real estate, home, things like that. And perhaps other accounts and things like that we’re also protected and passed outside of probate as well.

Greg McIntyre:             When I can help somebody set up that way, it’s awesome. And I happen to think it rubs off on those kids too because those children a lot of times say, “Hey, we need to get with you to do some planning as well so that we can set things up equally to be protected and to be that easy for our children.”

Brenton Begley:            Oh man, those are the easiest consultations aren’t they? When they come in already knowing the importance of planning ahead because they’ve had real world experience with that. You don’t have to explain to them the importance of these foundational documents like powers of attorney, living will, will, that sort of thing. And which, hey, I don’t mind doing that. I don’t mind spreading the gospel. I don’t mind informing people of how it all works. But, it’s great when people already know. They come in and they say, “Hey, we really need this because, if I’m in the same situation that my mother was in, my sibling was in, my spouse was in, I’d want someone to be able to act for me. Or I’d want my money not to be tied up. Or I’d want my finances or my healthcare, right? I want to be protected.

Greg McIntyre:             Absolutely. So there’s all kinds of role models out there. I remember Michael Jordan was my role model growing up, [inaudible 00:05:23] in sports, and I was out trying to dunk like on a first an eight foot, then a nine foot. When I grew and all my friends were out there, I mean just [inaudible 00:05:33] on a nine-foot goal, just trying to take that thing down, all trying to be like Mike. Then we’d throw it up to nine and a half, and then 10. And just all trying to be like Mike and dunk and just be awesome. And the guy was a great role model to look up to. Kind of like a Superman of basketball really.

Greg McIntyre:             But, those aren’t the only types of role models that we have. Who are our other role models? Leaders in the community sometimes [crosstalk 00:06:02], sometimes fireman. Politicians used to be role models, right?

Brenton Begley:            Yeah, used to be.

Greg McIntyre:             Yeah. And, we have certainly historical role models. How many people look at their family as their role models?

Brenton Begley:            Yeah, that’s a good question.

Greg McIntyre:             Not enough. Not enough.

Brenton Begley:            Certain members of your family are always going to serve as a role model in one way or another. It could be good or bad. Because role models are-

Greg McIntyre:             That’s a good point. You’re going to be a role model whether you want to or not. Despite what Charles Barkley says, “I’m not your …”

Brenton Begley:            Oh yeah. Hey man, [crosstalk 00:06:37] I’ve seen many, many peoples take pride in not reading, take pride and not educating themselves. Take pride in living a certain way that may be detrimental because that’s the way my dad did it. That’s the way my mom did it.

Greg McIntyre:             And they were cool with that because that was their culture in their family and their comfort zone.

Brenton Begley:            Right. And those parents didn’t understand how much of an effect they were having on those children. Right? By-

Greg McIntyre:             Well, they were a role model [crosstalk 00:07:05]. So you don’t have to step up and be like, “Hey, I’m going to be a role model now.”

Brenton Begley:            … No.

Greg McIntyre:             “I’m going to be this super person in a great way.” You are being a role model in your family no matter whether you want to not, and no matter whether you step up and proclaim that you’re a role model model or not. People in your family are watching you.

Brenton Begley:            Right.

Greg McIntyre:             Especially the young people and say, “Hey, this is how I should be. This is how my dad is. This is how my granddad is. Mother, grandmother.” Right? And it makes them okay with being the same way.

Brenton Begley:            Right.

Greg McIntyre:             Some people go against the grain, but I think society would show, and history would show, it’s not the norm that you go outside of your family culture and boundaries and values.

Brenton Begley:            Hey man, I have wore some weird clothes throughout middle school, early high school, because hey, I had an older brother who went through the 90s’ grunge phase for a while, right? So I looked up to him too, man, I wanted to be just like him. And so I wore some pretty odd clothing growing up because of that. And hey, that’s over, right? I’d like to think I have good sense of style now. [crosstalk 00:08:24] he’s got a better sense of style now. That’s right, wear a suit. But [crosstalk 00:08:28].

Greg McIntyre:             It’s not your brother’s suit.

Brenton Begley:            That’s right, it’s not my brother’s suit. My suit. But I’ll tell you this, he didn’t realize that I was wearing funny clothes because he was wearing funny clothes, right?

Greg McIntyre:             Right.

Brenton Begley:            He was just living life and I was just trying to be like him for the better or worse. And that’s just such a good example. I saw that with my younger nieces and nephews, I’m the youngest so I’m the [inaudible 00:08:57]. Nieces and nephews, they wanted to be like me too. So I had to take a look at my wardrobe and fix that. Take a look at my actions. Fix that too. You know?

Greg McIntyre:             So, planning to protect your money, property, getting your legal and financial affairs in order, sets an amazing precedent for your children, your grandchildren, the people that are watching you and want to be like you and want to make the way they do things okay. So it could mean an entire culture shift for your family and direction for your family. So I would counsel people to be a good role model. We would be glad we would be glad to help with that. If you have any questions about estate planning or elder law, please give us a call or visit us online. You can call us at 704-749-9244. Or online at

Greg McIntyre:             Thank you for joining. Thank you for listening to the Elder Law report and watching. And we’ll come to you next week with an important piece of information we think that will add value to your life. Have a great week until then. See you next week. Thanks Brenton.

Brenton Begley:            Good night.

If you have any questions or want to learn more you may contact McIntyre Elder Law at: 704-749-9244 or online at

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