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One Dark & Stormy Night

divorce estate planning legal education Oct 31, 2017

I don't do scary movies. I don't do haunted houses. I don't place myself in situations to be scared. I learned my lesson years ago.

One dark and stormy night—I'm not kidding, it really was a dark and stormy night—I found myself at my buddy's empty apartment (we lived in the same complex, and he was out of town) where I had decided, on my own and alone, to watch The Ring. Have you seen that movie? It's the one where the haunted evil devilish womanlike creature crawls out of the TV right after the phone rings. Because I don't watch scary movies, I don't even know if that movie is really considered scary. But I thought it was terrifying!

At the end of the movie, I had to go pee. I turned on every light in the apartment and left the door open. Just in case I needed to run. And then I left my friend's apartment and walked across the dark parking lot in the middle of the night, in the rain, to get to my own place. I thought I was going to be killed on the way. I don't think I've ever been so scared in my life. And it was not fun. At all. Why do people want to be scared like that?

I really did learn my lesson. Since that time, I've avoided all scary movies, all scary places, all scary things. I don't like snakes. Not even toy snakes are allowed in my home. Why? Because I might mistake one for a real snake. That's the trick, right? If you know it's not real, if you know it's "just a movie" or "just a game" or "just an adventure," then you can go be scared and somehow (not to me, but to many others, apparently), it's fun. 

But what about when it is real? Too many times over too many years, people have sat across the table from me with real fear in their eyes. "Will I go to prison?" asks the person charged with a crime. "Will I lose my kids?" or "will I lose my house?" asks the person going through a divorce. "What will happen to my kids if I die?" "Will my kids be protected?" "Will my loved ones actually get my stuff?" asks the person lying in the hospital without a proper plan (or with a plan that's out of date or just plain wrong). "Will my business make it through this lawsuit?" asks the small business owner. Because they don't know the answers to these questions, they are scared. It's worth saying again: Because they don't know the answers to these questions, they are scared.

You can know the answers. Just like the movies you'll watch, or the haunted houses you'll go to, or the games you'll play, you can know what to expect. You can know how it's going to turn out. You can know how to approach it. You can know how to plan, how to act, and how to win.

The magic is in learning. It's in getting information. It's in asking the right questions. It's in finding answers. It's in using the right resources. It's in working with the right people. For so many—far too many—the law is scary. It takes too long, it costs too much, it leads to ruin.

It doesn't have to. There is a better way. Because I don't like being scared, I've made education the focus of my practice. Facing divorce? The Esquire's Divorce Academy will tell you everything you need to know about how the system works, which issues matter, and how to work with your lawyer to get through the process twice as fast for half the cost. Need a plan for your future? Schedule a Legacy Design Session with me to learn what YOU need to keep your family out of court and out of conflict. Learning doesn't take much. Many of the resources I provide are free. None are expensive.

If you want to be scared, go see a movie. (I recommend The Ring.) Go to a haunted house. But don't play games with your life and the law. That really is scary if you don't know what to expect, what to do, or how to do it. So learn. Save time. Save money. Avoid ruin.

And Happy Halloween!


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