With over 30 years in investor relations, donor relations and financial education, Konni Harrison is a harbinger of helpful information for any of our listeners who have parents making a transition, or whom have a blended family.
Konni helps families to prepare for those fateful events such as dementia of a parent, death, long-term care, etc., and helps the surviving family members navigate through the conversations that arise regarding asset management. Her online course is called Anxiety to Action – How to Start the Estate Planning Conversation with your Family.
Konni’s father was a trader on the options exchange. He won a bright yellow Jeep and brought it home to 16-year-old, Konni.
“My dad wasn’t going to just let me drive it, he said ‘we have to do something with it’. So, we bought a snow shovel to go on the front of our Jeep.”Konni Harrison
Konni and her dad started a snowplow business together, and before school Konni would plow the neighbors’ driveways. She went through 46 clutches and caught the entrepreneurial bug.
Konni’s parents divorced and less than a year later her mother passed away suddenly.
“I didn’t handle my mom’s death well. I made such great bad decisions.”Konni Harrison
Then Konni’s Father sued Konni for her mother’s inheritance.
“It got ugly. That was my introduction into the world of family dynamics, divorces, death, inheritance, and lawsuits all rolled into one.”Konni Harrison
Discovering her three-word purpose in life – Connection, Simplicity, and Security – Konni now provides the same for her clients and those she interacts with.
Konni’s course, Anxiety to Action – How to Start the Estate Planning Conversation with your Family includes a three-step process: WHY, KNOWLEDGE BASE and FAMILY ASSESSMENT.
“First, why do you want to have a conversation about estate planning with your family? How will you lead the discussion? How will you take care of the people you care about?”Konni Harrison
Konni explains the timing of the estate planning conversation is important. Most often it is forced upon family because of a trigger event. Perhaps someone is facing a medical crisis or has died, or mom starts to show signs of dementia, etc. She insists the time to have the conversation is before the family needs a power of attorney.
“I try to help people avoid the fighting and the backstabbing.”Konni Harrison
“The legal language can be difficult to understand. I teach families in the simplest terms how to understand the definitions used in legal language. I am aware of compliance and laws and offer help to families. I work in tandem with state attorneys and the family.”Konni Harrison
Konni is quick to clarify – she doesn’t focus on the documents, but on the conversations families are having. In many ways she is a mediator/liaison for the families and executors.
What’s the trigger(s)? What are the thoughts on death? How can each family member feel comfortable about the problem and the solution?
Konni provides a road map of the most-needed conversations. It’s a priority to make family members aware of the wishes of the family member in crisis (or likely to be).
“Just get started. It doesn’t all have to be done a week from Tuesday. Part of getting started is keeping documents and wishes updated.”Konni Harrison