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You Just Need to be Ready and Take Action

I recently wrote an email regarding a football game I watched on TV. The game was between the Green Bay Packers and the then undefeated Arizona Cardinals. I will admit I did not watch the whole game and I was busy doing other stuff, but I continued to walk through the room to catch what was going on. It was a back and forth game between two really good teams.

Near the end, Arizona got the ball on their own one yard line, with 99 yards to go. It was going to be their last possession of the game as the clock was ticking. They were behind by three points.

In just a couple of minutes they drove the entire field, ending up on Green Bay's five yard line. Down only three points, they were assured a tie but wanted to go for the game winning touchdown.

Arizona ran a play in which one of the receivers went out to the right side of the end zone. The ball was beautifully placed to the receiver. However, the receiver did not turn around. He seemed not to understand that the ball was coming to him. As a result, the Green Bay defensive back was able to step in front and intercept the ball. By doing so the game ended. If only the Arizona receiver had turned around….

I immediately thought about my practice when I saw that happen. Years ago I had a family from the western part of the state come to see me. I had a great plan for that family that would not only preserve and protect their resources, but would help them avoid a lot of complexity and cost that would come up if they passed away without a plan, forcing them to go through a probate process. The family stated they wanted to "think about it" and went home.

Shortly after our visit the husband got sick. Really sick. The family was shell shocked he was so sick. He eventually died in just a few months.

What a mess he left behind. There were title problems with property; we were forced into a probate process. Because of not having a will, his children ended up inheriting half his property with the other half going to his wife. Though were able to get all that fixed, it took time, energy, and a lot of money.

I met with his wife after his death and we went through the long process of getting everything cleaned up and getting everything over into her name. And I remember she made the comment that if we would have just done something when we were there, we wouldn't have had to do all of this other stuff.

The ball was right there. All he had to do is turn around and catch it. The game would have been over. He would have won. His family would have won. But he wasn't ready for the ball.

One of my favorite clients made the comment, "I don't know what I don't know. What do I need to know?". It allows me to prescribe for that client what all I would want to have done if I were in their position, given their economic circumstances, their health and other factors. But I then need for them to step up, turn around and catch the ball.

I've always found it interesting when I run into situations where people don't want to listen to a professional's advice. Why go to the professional?

I'm certainly not urging that you should act if you don't have complete confidence in the professional that you're dealing with. Sometimes you may need to get a "second opinion", or find someone that you feel like you can trust even more.

But, again, it's important that when the solution is right there you turn around, catch it and score a touchdown.


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