Thoughts following a client’s funeral
I'm feeling rather melancholy. You see, today I attended a client's funeral.
This wasn't someone I'm super close with. He wasn't one of my bigger clients. But he was someone I knew. Someone I liked. He was someone who had asked for and received my help. More than once.
So, I'm feeling sad that he's gone. Not because he paid me money from time-to-time, but because I learned that he hadn't asked me for all the help I could've given him.
This guy died in a sudden, tragic accident. Here one minute, gone the next. I'm sure he never thought he'd go out this way.
This client was a middle-aged guy. Late-middle-age, actually. Married, with a young child.
He had several successful businesses. I'd helped him with some of these. He had several projects in the works… and I'd helped with those too.. The businesses will come through things OK. The roadmap for what happens to them is pretty well established.
But you know what?
He didn't have life insurance.
He didn't have a will or a trust for his assets.
He didn't have a plan in place in case something BIG happened.
I can't help thinking that if he'd asked me; If we'd sat down and talked about things from a 1000 foot view, we might have spotted some ways he could protect his family from some small part of the chaos that they're going through right now.
I'm a lawyer. I handle a very narrow, specific type of legal matter for my clients. But that doesn't mean I can't provide useful, actionable advice on other things. There's a reason they call us “attorney and *counselor* at law”. I missed the opportunity to be a counselor to this fellow.
Because he didn't know he could ask me for this kind of advice. He didn't think to ask if I knew someone who could help him protect his family.
The fact is, I know *lots* of other lawyers; lawyers in countless other practice areas. I know financial advisors, accountants, insurance folks, therapists, stylists, photographers; computer techs, etc.. I am a resource. I love the opportunity to help my clients, friends and colleagues by making referrals. If I'm given the chance.
So, this is my plea to you. Use me as a resource. Ask me about stuff.
I'm not just talking about the “what if I die” kinds of questions. I want to help you with whatever's got you puzzled about what to do. Obviously, if you're starting, closing, or just running a business, especially in the entertainment field, I'd love to help. But if you're getting married, planning for your kids' college, buying a house, or whatever… please let me be a resource. If you've got a friend who's dealing with something puzzling, confusing or tricky, I'd love to help them too.
It’s tough to be prepared for everything (mudslides, appendicitis), but we all should be prepared for death. Thank you for your touching reminder, Gordon. And thank you for being willing to help.