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Peace of Mind in Trying Times

 

Brenton and Greg “DO NOT” want to talk about the Corona Virus or contribute to fears. In this episode of the Elder Law Report they take on this important topic in a practical way.


Greg:

Okay. So we’re recording. Hey Britton.

Britton:

Hey man, how are you doing?

Greg:

I’m good man. I’m good. I’m trying to figure out how we’re going to dive into our topic today. I’ve really been talking about, or thinking about, that I don’t want to profit off the coronavirus.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

I do not want to contribute to the mass hysteria and fear that is already out there about the coronavirus, or it’s politicization. My wife and I’ve really been talking about this back and forth for the last few days, or the last couple of weeks really. Her position, I just talked to her on the phone a little bit ago, is that, “Look, just let people know you’re there for them.”

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

I’m here for you.

Britton:

Yeah. I think that it’s easy for a lot of people, and they fall into that groove. A lot of businesses, even the news, to profit off of fear. Right?

Greg:

Right.

Britton:

I don’t like that business model because not only is it temporary, right, you get temporary benefit from it. But, the main thing is, it’s not a trusted way to go. Right? And really, we’re in a position where we want trust from our clients. That’s the biggest thing that we could give our client, is trusted relationship, and I don’t think you get that by scaring people.

Greg:

It’s hard to talk about because, I don’t want to belittle the fact that people have died from this thing.

Britton:

Right.

Greg:

And that is real.

Britton:

It is real.

Greg:

But I also want to look at it in perspective of heart disease, which is the number one killer in the US.

Britton:

Right.

Greg:

Or the flu.

Britton:

It’s like KFC, they just made a sandwich made out of two donuts and piece of fried chicken, and heart disease is killing way more people than any epidemic.

Greg:

Yeah, but you don’t see the news condemning and putting out a global warning about the donut fried chicken sandwich.

Britton:

Yeah. Or the bag of bacon you can get from Dunkin’ Donuts.

Greg:

How many people a year does heart disease kill?

Britton:

I don’t know. A lot of people.

Greg:

Anybody know?

Britton:

It’s like the number one killer. I think you already said that. But yeah, it’s huge.

Greg:

It’s the number one killer, so I just want to keep in perspective that this thing has… Certainly we have the power to not spread anything, but what are we going to do? Are we just going to stop all contact? I mean I feel like now we have the power to know what’s going on around the globe 24 hours a day. A lot of our clients are in an age bracket where they’re vulnerable to the flu.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

Which killed more people a year than coronavirus has, so far.

Britton:

Right.

Greg:

They’re vulnerable to perhaps this strain of the coronavirus. Which I understand is not, it’s just another strain of already flu and cold type viruses that are out there.

Britton:

Yeah. For respiratory infection.

Greg:

But also, I think have a tough attitude that I have lived through polio. My father-in-law said that to my wife. “I lived through Polio. We’ve been through wars. This is ridiculous and it’s nothing.” Right? That’s his attitude, right.

Britton:

I think the best thing to do is what we’ve already done, is take precautions. Make sure that individuals are informed about the importance of cleanliness. Make sure our offices are disinfected, are clean. Making sure employees obviously, are doing [inaudible 00:04:37] disinfected. Doing their part and making sure they wash their hands, that sort of thing. I think short of that-

Greg:

That’s what I tell my kids to do every day anyway.

Britton:

Yeah, exactly. I mean, that should be done anyway. It really should be.

Greg:

Yeah.

Britton:

I like to think that we do that already. I don’t think it’s an extra precaution to say, “Wash your hands when you go to the bathroom.” Right? It should be done already. I think that if you’re being cautious, that’s a good thing, right? It’s a good thing to be cautious to make sure that if you’re a vulnerable individual, that you don’t catch something that is unnecessary. Right? I mean, it could be prevented. However, at the same time, I think there’s something to be said about living your life and not living in fear.

Greg:

Guess how many people per year, heart disease kills, worldwide.

Britton:

I don’t know.

Greg:

17.6 million deaths in 2016, from heart disease globally.

Britton:

Wow.

Greg:

Those are huge numbers. Those are real numbers.

Britton:

Yep.

Greg:

I don’t see everybody jumping up and down about it. Trying to ruin the economy and everything else.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

I think that needs to be said. I mean how about use some common sense?

Britton:

Yeah. I mean, you don’t see Oreo cookie sales go down when people talk about heart disease.

Greg:

No. The stock market didn’t tank because 17.6 million people died of heart disease in 2016.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

I mean, I just want to keep it in perspective. Now I can’t catch heart disease on the bus, or in a plane, or on a cruise ship.

Britton:

Yeah. Well, probably on a cruise ship, they give you free meals. All you can eat.

Greg:

They’re going to give you all you can eat buffets. Right?

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

On a cruise ship. And the coronavirus.

Britton:

It doesn’t help.

Greg:

So.

Britton:

Stress. Man, stress is a big deal too. We’re talking about your diet, but stress is a big deal too. A lot of people stress out. A lot of people will stress out because of [inaudible 00:06:45] about the future. A lot of people stress out because you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You don’t know what’s going to happen to your family if you’re not around to take care of them. That sort of thing.

Greg:

I mean, I don’t know. I could be taken out by stress-related heart attack, because I’m working so hard to provide for my wife and six kids and our clients, seriously.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

Tomorrow. It could just be my time. I could have some genetic disorder, a defect. I could get hit by a bus while I’m walking across the street in a second.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

Or I can catch the coronavirus at a weak moment in my immune system, or the flu, and that could adversely affect me. I could die. I could die from that. Right?

Britton:

It is certainly amazing. It’s amazing that we stay alive every day with all the things that could kill us. If you think about it.

Greg:

I can’t walk around in fear everyday, that I’m going to actually be a human being that might come in contact with some other human being.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

So, those are my thoughts. How about this? This thing has become political. It’s being kicked around like a little political football. And certainly, let’s not forget that news channels sell commercials-

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

… and need your eyes fixated on their news channel. But let’s also not underestimate this thing’s ability, because I’m not a doctor or infectious disease specialist. I am an attorney in estate planning, an elder law attorney. But if it takes the coronavirus to make you realize that you need to get your affairs in order and your estate plan, so be it. That’s what I’d say.

Britton:

It is.

Greg:

You should have realized that you need to get your affairs in order and your stuff together, so to speak, for yourself and your family, because 17.6 million people died globally of heart disease. Or because simply you’re a human being that’s walking around on planet earth and loves his or her family, and wants to take care of themselves and their family. Anything, I guess my point is, can make you realize that you need to get your affairs in order. It just seems like a really anxious, intense, crazy time out there that people might be [inaudible 00:09:11] and we’d be glad to help.

Britton:

Yeah, I think it’s a reality check for a lot of people. It’s unfortunate that it takes something like this to be a reality check. But, if that’s the thing, that’s what’s going to nudge you in the right direction, then by all means, allow it to. I think that in times like this, where you feel a sense of chaos, that’s really what it is, it’s a sense of chaos. What you want is, you want to look for, okay, well how do I get some measure of control in a chaotic time? I think that’s why people have that type of reality check, is that when you feel things becoming more and more uncertain, then you want to find some level of certainty, right? That’s normal, that’s common. If getting your affairs in order will give you some level of certainty, or some level of control, which it will, then by all means.

Greg:

When things are chaotic, find something that you can control.

Britton:

Right.

Greg:

Focus on the things that you can control. That’s a great point.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

Things are anxious and chaotic. How can I get some peace of mind? Well, I can control what happens if heaven forbid I pass away. I can control that. We can help you control that.

Britton:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Greg:

That is peace of mind. I hate to tell everybody, and here’s the real news flash out there. We’re all in the same game on planet earth as human beings who are going to die one day.

Britton:

Yeah, right.

Greg:

Breaking news. So you better have your affairs in order, because it doesn’t matter how much you ignore it, it’s coming.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

It might be tomorrow, it might be today, it might be 10 years from now, it might be 50 years from now, depending on your age.

Britton:

If you’re not worried about it, if you don’t have affairs in order, you’re not worried about it, then I would just challenge you to imagine. Take yourself out of the equation, and see what happens to your family. What would happen to your family, Greg, if we just took you out of the equation right now.

Greg:

Oh man. That’s why I have insurance in place to help care for them, and to help pay for their colleges, and take care of Steff.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

Because, I love them. We have our estate plan put together that we did. Britton, you drafted that for us. Thank you.

Britton:

Yep.

Greg:

It gave myself and my wife enormous peace of mind, in the fact that if something happens to either one of us, even if we’re incompetent or incapacitated, that we have things in place. General durable power of attorney, financial powers of attorney, where she can still operate all the finances and property.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

I think it’s a great time to think about those things, as well as healthcare powers of attorney. A healthcare power of attorney can appoint someone to make your important healthcare decisions. It’s important to have someone you trust to be able to do that when you can’t do that yourself, and not let the kids argue over it. You need to be taken care of.

Greg:

Healthcare powers of attorney, living wills, those things are important. Especially those healthcare powers of attorneys right now. Then, putting in place the will and foundational documents. Do we need to look at trust? Those things, that’s getting your affairs in order.

Greg:

Britton, I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but some people I go into a consult with, you can see the worry on their face. They’re wrecked. Not just because they’re meeting with me and it’s an attorney, it’s intimidating or something. But because they’ve been staying up nights worried about what’s going to happen, or they might be going through something.

Britton:

Yeah.

Greg:

Then to be able to give them solutions and put their mind at ease. You can see it wash away from their face.

Britton:

Oh man, we’re talking about reality checks here. A lot of people have reality checks all the time. Like, oh, we had a scare, we had a cancer scare.

Greg:

Sure.

Britton:

My mom had a mini stroke thing, yes, she’s doing all right, but, we all thought to ourselves, “Oh God, Oh God, what’s going to happen? We can’t make decisions for her either financial or healthcare.” That’s one thing. Right? And what if she were to pass away? God forbid. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Even if you don’t have a big family, family’s fine, you don’t want those things to drag on, and you don’t want assets to be taken by any sort of creditor, when that person passes away. These are all worries that do keep a lot of my clients, before they came in and got their affairs in order, up at night.

Britton:

One of the most rewarding things, we give talks all the time. We talk about our why, and one of the reasons why we do what we do. One of the things I know that keeps us in this area of the law, elder law and estate planning, is that when you see that look of relief on your client [inaudible 00:14:42] it’s amazing. That’s something that you don’t really get any other area of the law, at least not that quick.

Greg:

I agree. I agree. Regardless on your political feelings about the coronavirus, or your feelings on the media coverage of it, regardless of any of that, we are here to help. If you need any estate planning, there’s healthcare powers of attorneys, things put in place, we’re here to help. And here’s how we do that. Number one, we’re going to keep our office as clean as possible. We’re going to wash our hands. We’re also going to offer to be able to come out and visit with you if you need us to. We’re also going to offer phone conferences if we need to, if it gets to that point. We’re also going to offer video conferences by Hangout. Kind of like Britton and I are doing right now, if it gets to that point.

Greg:

We have a plan in place. We’ve already talked about it, about how we would handle this. I hope it doesn’t get to that point, but we’re here for you. You can reach us at (704) 749-9244, or you can research on our website, MCELDERLAW.COM. That’s MCELDERLAW.COM.

Greg:

I love what I do. I’m Greg McIntyre. I know Britton loves what he does. We are estate planning and elder law attorneys, and we’re here to help you. Have a great day. Stay safe. And I hope you stay clear of the coronavirus, and the sandwich that’s made out of fried chicken and donuts. Seriously. It’s way more dangerous.

Britton:

Yeah. Yeah. Please do stay clear of that.

Greg:

Thanks guys. See ya, Britton.

Britton:

Yeah. See ya.

 

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written by:

Greg McIntyre

Elder Law Attorney

704-749-9244

greg@mcelderlaw.com

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