A “What If” that Gave us Chills. On Death + Money.

written by Bari Tessler January 17, 2016

Feeling brave? Take a moment and imagine this hypothetical scenario with me. It’s something I hope never happens to you, but … it’s terribly important to consider.

You and your honey go out for a date night. Your child is safe at home with the babysitter while you two have a great time at your favorite restaurant. You have a warm, glowy evening together. You laugh. You flirt. You discover an absurdly creamy Spanish cheese.

You pay the bill and walk back to the car together, pleasantly full and relaxed. Halfway home, the unthinkable, unspeakable, happens. You get into an accident — the kind that’s so bad, you’re not coming home. Have you ever thought about what would happen in the minutes and hours right after something like that happening? To your money, your belongings, and most importantly: to your child (or children)?

OK, pause. May this never happen to you!! It is not my intention to scare you with this — so, thank you for getting brave and imagining that story, if you did. There really is a beautiful silver lining in this topic. Promise. Just keep reading…

This nightmare scenario is so tender, most of us never want to consider it, let alone make arrangements for it in case it happens. Including me and Forest.

But I had to face this hypothetical scenario when my dear colleague, estate planner Martha Hartney, posed it to me during an interview. Martha’s life work is helping people prepare for what happens after they die (she calls it “life design”) — and showing them how to safeguard their money, possessions, children, and even emotional and  intellectual legacy, should they die before they expect.

The conversation Martha and I had about this was incredibly challenging for me — yet it was also one of the most powerful teaching moments I’ve had about money in recent years. And it made me and Forest take a hard look at what we need to do, now, should something tragic happen. And, surprisingly: as tough as it has been for us to look at this kind of estate planning, it has also been full of love, connection, and compassion.

This story comes from behind the curtains of my year-long Art of Money school, which is open for registration now for just a little while longer. To celebrate our once-a-year opening, we’re sharing helpful teaching and interview snippets from the program, woven together into an engaging, storytelling podcast. (And, just yesterday, our new Art of Money Podcast just got promoted to the “New and Noteworthy” section in the education category on iTunes. Super exciting!)  At any rate, we hope you love the show, too.

But, back to the story at hand in this episode…sometimes, looking at what most scares us leads us to the deepest peace, and shows us what matters most to us in life.

In this 4th episode of the new Art of Money podcast, you’ll hear excerpts from my emotional (yet also very practical) interview with Art of Money guest teacher, estate planner, and local friend of ours, Martha Hartney. We discuss:

  • The #1 decision that delays the estate planning process — and how to make it.
  • The surprising truth about what happens to young children when parents die. unexpectedly, and when the parents haven’t done their estate planning (it’s pretty shocking.)
  • What you need to do NOW to safeguard your children, money, and possessions in the event that you pass away before you expect to.
  • The unconventional video Martha helps every client create 
for their children.
  • A few “wowzers” stories from Martha’s estate planning practice that will give you extra motivation to get your planning done.

Thinking about this stuff isn’t as fun as planning your big Bali vacation or retirement on an Icelandic sheep farm, I know. But it’s incredibly important stuff, and, as you’ll see, it’s deeply meaningful. And, nothing compares to the peace of mind when these puzzle pieces are in place.

Right click over this link and choose “save link as” or “save as” to download the mp3 file to your computer.

Show Notes:
Martha Hartney’s free guide to choosing guardians for your kids: The 7 Must Do’s When Naming Guardians For Kids.

Did you like this episode? If so, we’d love it if you share it with your friends (every little kind mention helps us reach more people with the Art of Money work) Click here to share this episode on Facebook.

Want more where this came from?

Smart, heart-felt conversations (like this one) with money pros is a cornerstone of my year-long money school, The Art of Money.

If you sign up for The Art of Money 2016 (which begins very soon!), you’ll have access to my entire library of touching and practical conversations with amazing people on money + couples, money + healthy boundaries, money + Enneagram, money + superpowers, money + body-based wisdom, money + food, money + kids, and so much more.

The Art of Money is the one program I am leading in 2016. I pour all my smarts and heart into this year-long journey (which includes live group coaching calls with me, and an amazing international community to support you in a private discussion forum.) The results that people see in their lives as a result of going on this Art of Money journey are nothing short of incredible.

In the first three years, we’ve welcomed over 1,000 individuals, couples, and entrepreneurs, from 27 different countries. And 2016 promises to be our best year, yet: with more Guest Teachers, five TA’s (Transformational Assistants!), and the most evolved expression of my teachings on money, ever.

Our journey begins soon, and I would be honored to welcome you to our community of brave, gentle, wise, ever-evolving money adventurers.

What would happen if you spent a year focusing on changing your relationship with money for the better?

Click here to learn more about  The Art of Money 2016.

To savoring this one, precious life,


P.S. Did you miss the first few episodes of the podcast? Check them out here:

Ep #1: Money Tough Times (and Silver Linings)

Ep #2: How to Make More Money and Overcome Underearning

Ep #3: How it All Began … the Art of Money genesis story.

P.P.S. If you’re digging this podcast (yay!!) click here to subscribe on iTunes, so you don’t miss the final 2 episodes of our first mini-season of the show. While you’re there, if you leave a rating or review on iTunes, that would be mucho-mondo appreciated!

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