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Hard Conversations

It’s a little nudge. The quiet voice. That something on your to-do list. The thing you know you NEED to do, but you still haven’t done it.

A conversation on “what happens when I’m gone.”

Seems nobody likes to talk about it. We don’t like being faced with our mortality.

It doesn’t bother me. Mostly because I’m completely ready for death – which frees me up to LIVE and not be worried.

I plan on living to 110. Seriously. I will move heaven and earth to make that happen, but hey, if God has other plans, then so be it.

So I have my will, power of attorney, personal directive.

I have loads of life insurance.

I have spreadsheets about 10-pages long listing absolutely EVERYTHING I manage, that actually are up-to-date.

I can’t preach from my very core, or write my next book without having done this stuff myself.

I can’t already tell some of you won’t read this because the thought of dying almost literally scares you to death;  you’re not ready to face death yet, and that’s okay – when you are ready – read my next book – it will be out by then….

But I will say, the peaceful feeling that you have made your last wishes known to your family is one of the best gifts you can give them.

Let me say it again:

The best gift you can give the people you love the most on this planet is to let them know your last wishes, from the assets to how you want your remains handled.

It’s real my loves, it’s real life. You know it.

I’m watching my dearest family members walk through the recent loss of their loved ones, and in the same breath, beautiful new babies born into our family.

It’s life and it’s beautiful.

However, when someone we love passes away, even for the closest of families, it usually brings fighting, discord, and pain.

Many times relationships are wrecked for the rest of this earthly life.

All because one thing didn’t happen.

A conversation.

A conversation about death.

A conversation about the reality, the day-to-day stuff that happens upon death.

A conversation that best involves the entire family.

A conversation that only needs to take 5-minutes or 15-minutes. (There’s the 10-second grouchy-old-man version – cremation, throw my ashes in the lake and give all my stuff to my dog, Arnold. And then there’s Lisa Elle’s End-of-Life-Extravaganza Black-Tie-Event with a party planner and everything…just saying – it’s going to be a thing, but in reality, you’ll all be dead, because I’ll be 110, and well, none of you reading this now will be there… so the plan goes…)

But we aren’t having these conversations because they are tough.

And because we can’t stomach the tough conversations, it leads to more turmoil for our loved ones.

Okay, fast forward and now you think you have all your ducks in a row – maybe some life insurance and a will, etc. Maybe you’ve even told everyone in your family what to do when you are gone.

Listen to this:

Just recently, I know a few estates of some friends and some family members where I know they would have benefitted IMMENSELY from a 1-hour conversation with a CFP or Estate Planner. But they didn’t.

I hate HATE knowing I could have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes on these estates by simply having a 1-hour conversation. I hate knowing I should have spoken up. Maybe it’s on me to learn how to be a bit more pushy, and ask the hard questions.

This is why.

Nothing really is simple anymore.

  • You live in a province with probate tax – you need to have a conversation with an Estate Planner.
  • You have a regular family with 3 ex-wives, multiple children from different relationships – you NEED to have a conversation with an Estate Planner.
  • You have minor children – you need to have a conversation with an Estate Planner.
  • You have disabled children of ANY AGE – you need to have a conversation with an Estate Planner.
  • You have no kids – you need to have a conversation with an Estate Planner.
  • You are married, or living common law or not married – you need to have a conversation with an Estate Planner.
  • You own assets in other countries or have close family in other countries – you need to have a conversation with an Estate Planner.

Oh, and if you don’t fall into one of those categories – I really can’t help you. At all. Because you are outta this world – literally.

My point.

EVERYONE can benefit from a conversation with a CFP or Estate Planner.

Need to quickly clarify: Estate Planner is someone who specialized in this area – not all lawyers and accountants do this, CFP’s or TEP (Trust & Estate Practitioners) do this. Look for one of those. We can pull the plan together and pull in lawyers and accountants as needed depending upon what you specifically need for your estate. NOTE: YOUR CORNER BANK DOES NOT DO THIS. This is something you need a fiduciary for.

Plus, this crap changes every time Justin changes his sexy hair. Meaning, what you plan today is not the same as tomorrow’s new proposed government budget and changes to tax law. So best to have a relationship with someone who you can review your plan with as well every few years!

So what started out as a nudge that is inside of you, is now me giving you a SPANK and YELLING at you to get this stuff dealt with (not in a kinky way of course….more so in my MOMMY VOICE YELLING AT MY CHILDREN!)


  1. Get a will. Spend the money – go to a lawyer. At minimum, get a template DIY will.
  2. Hire an Estate Planner.
  3. Have conversations about life after you with people you care about.

What you will save by getting an Estate Plan in place:

  • family relationships (hey – it helps!!)
  • reduce stress & worry for the people you love
  • money that goes to your family instead of to the government aka. reduce taxes (on every estate there is one consistent beneficiary!)
  • peace of mind for you so you can live your life with less worry
  • leaving a legacy of LOVE and not a SHIT SHOW

NEED I SAY MORE my beautiful loves reading this.

I do know nothing will ever go perfectly to plan, but better a plan than not.

All you really need is 1-2 HOURS of PLANNING. It can literally change the course of your family for generations to come.

I’m totally kicking your a** today.

Consider it kicked out of love.



Here’s how I can help you with this….

  1. Talk or Message me about Wealth Spa™
  2. Check out my Get Started Money Packages
  3. Sign Up for my Money Makeover Online Course

PS. On a personal note, if I have any more friends and family tell me they don’t have wills, I’m going to march you to a lawyers office, lock you in there, or even make you draft up a will before I let you out of my sights. I think it will be my new signature move. I may need to learn some martial arts first. Now, who wants to go out for coffee with me?

PPS. Do you see the photo I posted for this post? That is my beautiful family. I would hate to see them fighting after I passed on over any of my assets or worse. (The Loewen’s are loud and strongly opinionated on a good day – I don’t need to add to that!) I don’t want to be remembered that way. I want you to insert your family photo in there and ask yourself if you want to see your family ripped apart because you didn’t share your last wishes with them. <3




Let’s Talk Grandma!

Photo Credit: From the CHIVE

24 Questions You MUST ASK Your Aging Parents

I love to talk. So much, in fact that the song “You talk too much!” was played in my honor once…. at my wedding.  Embarrassing as that may seem, sometimes talking does come in handy, especially when it’s time to bring up awkward conversations.  I’m queen at this – no conversation is too awkward for me! After all, I talk to people about kicking the bucket ALL THE TIME!  (Kinda an occupational hazard when you do estate planning and life insurance!)

It’s funny how we can spend hours scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest or tweeting about what we did 5 minutes ago or what we are about to do in the next 5 minutes, but we don’t spend 1 hour to stop, think about, write down or talk about what’s going to happen to all of us at some point in our lives.  Nobody cares about that doughnut you are about to eat, the selfie you just took or who got booted off The Amazing American Survivor Idol Race (is that still on TV?), but your family does care about you and you care about them (or at least maybe we should….)

Let’s face it, we would rather talk about anything with our parents then go down the road of discussing estate planning matters or discussing the inevitable.  We are scared of the “d” word and we think that talking about it will make it a reality or that lightning will strike us because we brought up the subject and somehow we still don’t think it will happen to us!

And do you notice that estate planning matters only come to light when someone close dies or becomes diagnosed with a terminal illness? Why don’t we talk about the important stuff while we are still healthy and in a positive frame of mind versus when we are in an emotional state?

On the day the doctor sits you down and tells you, “you have cancer”, do you really want to begin planning at that point or spend time with family and focus on recovery and know you had planned this all when you were in a happy healthy state versus being forced into it?

I talk to so many seniors (age 60-85) on a daily basis asking for life insurance, and I will tell you that most people have NO CLUE what is going on with their money at that age.  I think they kinda just throw up their hands in the air and give up.  Probably because they don’t know what they want, or if they do, they don’t know how to accomplish what they want to accomplish.

Here’s the thing, the law is not always in your favour when you die intestate (without a will) and trust me when I say this gets even more complicated for second marriages and trying to keep some things separate and fair for adult children.  (By the way, there are fabulous and easy ways to deal with this, it just involves some pre-planning and an amazing advisor {like me 😉 } and you can get assets passed through even without going through probate or passing through the estate.)

So save yourself the guilt and grief now.  Save yourself the fights with your siblings and step-family. Book a date with both your parents or one-on-one, go for brunch or grab a coffee and have the “talk” and take my PDF that I created just for you from below and get in the conversation.

P.S.  I need to do a smack down to some of you thinking right now that talking about money is a TABOO subject!  It is not! Even if you were raised that it is! You need to find a way to get answers to these questions for your aging parents, otherwise, you will be left in the dark and it is far more sad to have had the option to do this while things are good and not have done so. Trust me, so many good things can come of these conversations! Peace is a beautiful thing!

P.P.S.  I think it is so sad that we live in one of the richest countries in the world and have worked so hard for our wealth only to have it fought upon or handed to the government in taxes upon our deaths from poor planning.  Regardless what age you are, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY as a person living one of the greatest and wealthy countries in the world, where tools, resources and amazing planners are available, to be able to create a legacy, plan and direct where and how your hard earned money goes when you die.  56% of Canadians DO NOT have wills…. start there…. make sure you have a will. OK – RANT OVER!

BOTTOM LINE: Take time to have a serious conversation with your parents about their legacy and what they want to leave behind. I promise you will be glad you did. If you are the ‘aging parent’ then be proactive and tell your kids the answers to these questions.  Either way – GET IN THE CONVERSATION!

Click HERE to get ’24 Questions you MUST ASK your Aging Parents’


Get the Last Word



Truth be told, I’m partial to my romantic comedies although every now and then I’ve always liked a little gun fight, the odd car chase, or even the Terminator. He always did threaten he’d be back….. (this week in a movie theater near you)

Well, here’s the thing (spoiler alert!), unlike the Terminator, in real life when we die, we are dead. We are not coming back (GASP!)…….yet, it keeps taking thousands by surprise every year.

What’s even more shocking is how many Canadian die without a will, or die intestate.

56% of Canadians do not have a will according to a 2012 survey by LAWPRO.

A will is the foundation of a good financial plan. Not only because you get to direct how your assets are distributed, but if forces self-reflection and one of my favorite planning principles Stephen Covey made famous, ‘begin with the end in mind’. Knowing what we are building, getting clear and painting that picture also helps propel us towards our goals. There are intestacy provisions which vary from province to province, however they probably won’t reflect the true wishes of most individuals and especially if you fall into any of these categories:

– if you wish your spouse to receive your entire estate
– in your second marriage
– in common-law relationship
– in same-sex relationship
– you have children from a previous marriage or born outside of marriage
– you have a child with special or circumstances
– you do not want a public trustee or government managing assets for your minor children
– you don’t want your kids to get their hands on all that money at age 18 or 19
– if you wish to do any tax planning whatsoever
– if you wish to leave any money to charity
– if you wish to appoint guardians for your minor children (and you def don’t want crazy Auntie B doing that!)
– if you wish to grant extended powers to your executor
– if you wish to establish trusts for your loved ones (so Johnny Jr. doesn’t get a $100K sports car at age 18)
– if you wish to leave money to your favorite financial coach …. (PM me for my banking details 😉 )

and finally

you need to have a will…

because who doesn’t want to have the last word.