Thursday, July 23, 2009


Recently I received a call from a woman who sounded a bit distracted on the phone as she began to explain why she was calling. As I listened to her story, it became abundantly clear why she sounded somewhat “foggy”. She had lost both her beloved parents and her brother within a very short period of time and she was in mind boggling grief. She had never had to deal with legal or real estate matters and now she found herself overwhelmed by the circumstances of her life.

Life altering events can leave a person in a most vulnerable state where decision making becomes almost impossible. It is during times of living in nightmares when the professional services of attorneys, accountants and realtors must be rendered with tenderness and attentiveness that leads to resolution.

In the event that life knocks you down and you do not know where to turn, you may hear well intentioned friends say “If there is anything I can do, just let me know.” In truth, it is just at these most difficult moments when the last thing you can think of is how to ask for help or what help to ask for.

If you can find a way to remember anything during so difficult a time, remember to ask for a referral to a professional. The time to think about who would be your trusted advisor is before something horrible saps your strength. It is most important to ask someone whom you admire for a referral for such time as you may need one. Who guided your friend or co-worker through dark waters and helped them find peace again? Keep that name or (names) handy because if you have no idea where to turn, the terrible times can become worse instead of better.

I have a lawyer in whose hands I place my children, my own legal matters and those of my clients and friends. I have trusted this kind and brilliant man for twelve years. I have a doctor in whose hands I place my health. I have an accountant who, like the other professionals I choose to keep in my life, tells me the truth and keeps my figures true.

The woman who called me in such a sad state had no such trusted advisor. What she had was a blind and desperate need to trust someone and her bottomless sorrow became even more difficult when all three fell far short of providing services or producing promised results.

These times have many folks counting pennies. Although the inventory of homes has begun to move through to closings, many homeowners have been exhausted from the housing challenge and many buyers are also exhausted from searching through the inventory. It is most important to find that special someone with whom you “click”. Lasting friendships with trusted advisors start with obtaining a name from someone you already trust. It is not unwise to interview several professionals before placing your life, your home or your peace of mind in their hands.

Although several months of unnecessary heartache befell the woman who called my office recently, life has changed yet again for her. There are now trusted advisors in place who will see her through the storm and she will never forget what it meant to be so afraid and be left out in the cold. She will also now be the one who will say to a friend in need some day… “ I have a name for you.”