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Check For Leaks

This is a continuation of my Lessons from my Motorcycle Trip in July 2012 through Scotts Bluff, Nebraska; through the la Poudre Canyon; into Estes Park, and then to Denver, Colorado. The trip was about 1100 miles, much of it in 100+ degree weather.

The lesson is needing to check for leaks.

As I drove into Nebraska, and even the northern part of Kansas, I saw a lot of irrigation. Into Nebraska they even had flood irrigation. There were miles and miles of fields with white conduit pipe running along the ground with a hole in the pipe for each row of crops. As I understand, water enters into the conduit, run down the pipe and water comes out each hole along the irrigation pipe. The water then runs through the field and flood it, thereby watering the crops.

I went by a farmer’s field and I’m sure that he thought everything was set up fine. However, there were two huge geysers springing over ten feet in the air. This was the middle of the afternoon in 100+ degree weather. There was no one around for miles.

Obviously the pipe had broken in a couple of different places creating a geyser of water that was impacting the effectiveness of the irrigation system. I did not know how long these leaks had existed, minutes, hours, or even days.

It made me think of how many times people think they have their estate and long term care plans set up. They set up their plans and maybe years have gone by.  Maybe their finances have changed. Maybe the laws have changed (pretty much guarantee you they have). Maybe their health has changed. In essence they have a big leak and they’re not checking on their irrigation system. While they think they have an irrigation system in place that will adequately water their crops, when they turn on the irrigation system what someone is going to find is there is a huge leak and the whole system could fail.

It makes me think of something that had happened very recently. My son and his wife rode their bikes to my house. My son had a flat. He wanted me to teach him how to fix a flat. We located three holes, and I suggested to my son that we just purchase a new tube. My penny pincher sons wanted me to repair all three punctures and so we did. Afterwards we did a low pressure check and the patches seemed to be holding fine. We then increased the pressure on the tube only to find half a dozen more leaks. He asked me, “Dad are we going to patch all of these?” I said, “Son there is a point where you just have to say that you need to start all over and buy a new tube.”

We all need to check our plans to make sure there is not a leak. It requires vigilance. There may be so many leaks that it is just best to start over. It may be the plan that a family has just doesn’t fit their current circumstances and a completely new plan needs to be devised.

Please have your plan evaluated by a qualified elder law attorney. The attorneys in my office and my staff specialize in this type of work. We specialize in being sure that there are no leaks. We are going to make sure that your plan does not have a leak related to long term care insurance, long term care costs, Medicare problems, power of attorneys or whatever. We are going to fix all of those leaks. It may mean that we have to start all over, but when you get done you know that your irrigation system is not going to be leaking.

Oh and by the way, I did convince my son to buy a new tube and in addition, convinced him to put in “green slime” to plug any future leaks. I actually convinced him to be more proactive in leak prevention!


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