12. What Are You Thankful For?

November 11th, 2021

Thanksgiving is coming soon with Christmas right behind. I do love Christmas, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.  For me, Thanksgiving is truly the core truth of my faith. Only when we are appreciative and thankful can we be worshipful. 

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘Thank you,’ that would suffice.”—Meister Eckhart

I am thankful for The Guardian’s Gift team that has worked long and hard to help me bring my vision to reality, fulfilling my purpose and mission: The goal of The Guardian's Gift is to make estate planning enjoyable and turn it into a family legacy plan! We hope to get at least 1.2K (1200) families per year to begin creating a legacy plan before they find themselves in a difficult situation.

I know the frustration and financial worry of how best to care for aging parents while fighting the entanglement of government red tape. I went through it and decided there had to be a better way! I realized that planning early and as completely as possible coupled with family discussions, could go a long way to alleviate the "burden" that most seniors don't want to become. 

I am so blessed to have a wonderful team of people helping me on this journey and I want you to meet them. I could go on and on about what they each mean to me but my hope is that you will get to meet them through your own Guardian’s Gift plan. 

Please meet your Guardian’s Gift team that means so much to me and I am truly thankful for.

--Dr. Judy Butler, PsyD

Matthew Trupia

Originally from New York, now living in North Carolina- SCAD graduate, illustrator, painter, and designer Matthew uses many styles and subjects to engage with his audience. Featured in print and online publications, as well as exhibited in GA and NC.

Amanda Baldwin

Originally from North Dakota, Amanda has lived in many states, traveled to many countries, and has experienced living in another country for 13 months. Amanda obtained a degree in Science from North Dakota State University and a Master's of Education from Grand Canyon University. Amanda is enjoying life with her husband and 3 children in the beautiful state of North Carolina. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching her children, reading world news/investor news, traveling with her family, and hiking/being outdoors. 

Logan Seelman

Logan is a graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill working towards her Master's in Social Work with hopes of becoming a mental health therapist. She enjoys deep conversations, beach sunrises, hiking, and eating breakfast foods!

Alice Primm

A “people person,” Alice is drawn to the mysteries and spirituality of everyday life while also honoring life’s many challenges.  She understands that, in life, the only constant is change; and learning to navigate life’s changes – either alone or with a trusted friend or guide – can result in tremendous joy and growth. When not providing guidance to Guardian’s Gift clients, Alice provides art services and interior design to clients around the country.  She resides in Virginia.   

Dennis Blount

Based in Wake Forest, Dennis Lee Blount Jr. developed DLB Multimedia to assists small and large businesses. 30 years of broadcasting and marketing experience has allowed Dennis and his partners to create various packages to meet your marketing needs.

~Dr. Judy

11. What’s Your Fear?

October 18th, 2021

When considering why people don’t have a legacy plan or at the very least an ordinary estate plan, I came up with several “reasons” I’ve either heard or I know get in the way. These reasons are quite common but I want to take us deeper into the fears behind the reasons. A lot of times when we get shutdown and are prevented from doing a thing, it’s often from a place of fear.  Let’s begin.


  1. “I won’t be here and my family can handle it.” 

This is probably one of the statements I hear most often and it almost always catches me off guard. My first response to this statement is, “how selfish!” Why would anyone slough off taking care of their own “stuff” and thereby, create a problematic mess for their family? Of course, that is my bias and thought process. 


At the core of this statement is the difficulty we humans have considering our own mortality. Many of the “reasons” listed below are folded into, and connected to, the core avoidance of the knowledge that our time on this earth is finite, is limited. The truth is that we are not going to live forever and we avoid even thinking about that. 


Another deeply experienced fear is that we aren’t smart enough to figure out what needs to be done. There is most definitely a mystique surrounding “estate or legacy planning.” The legalese sounds like, and appears to be, a thing that only wealthy people do because they can afford to hire an attorney or legal firm to take care of it all. The second part of that same fear is, “I don’t even know where to begin.” The truth is that like everyone else, there are lots of wealthy people who avoid legacy planning. If you can honestly answer questions about your own life, you can create a legacy plan.


One very unconscious fear (or maybe it’s an ego need) is that by leaving a mess for my family they will be forced to remember and think about me when they’re dealing with all my stuff. Some people and families thrive on drama because that’s how they learned to feel important to their family. If there is no drama, they must not love me. I’ve actually had family members tell me they believe their deceased person is watching the unfolding drama and enjoying the chaos and turmoil the family is experiencing.


  1. “I don’t have family to leave anything.”

People who think this way have a limited understanding of what family is. Here are several quotes that exemplify the ideal of family: 

  • “Friends are the family you choose.” ― Jess C. Scott 

  • “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” – Richard Bach

  • “No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you feel rich.” Louis Sabin, American Author

  • “Home is where the dog runs to greet you.” Unknown


Not only do you have family and friends to include in your estate planning, but there are many organizations that need your gift. It is important that your beloved pets are cared for after you’re gone.  It’s also important that your memory is eternalized in the gifts you leave to an organization helping humanity and the world. 


The fear here is that all you have done and accomplished will be for nothing and will be wasted. You can make a difference with a multitude of options. You get to choose how you are remembered.


  1. “I don’t have anything of value to leave to anyone.”

Sometimes people believe they must have money, homes, cars, or other material possessions to leave to their loved ones. A huge fear is that I won’t be remembered as valuable and important to my family because I didn’t leave them “an inheritance.” 


Let me assure you that the most valuable and important inheritance you can leave is your story. Your story is filled with your wit, wisdom, and the memories shared with you in them. Your story is the centerpiece of what legacy planning is all about. Your legacy is the trials, tribulations, and struggles of life lived with others laced with laughter and moments of joy and celebration and have nothing to do with what is usually considered an inheritance.


  1. “It’s too expensive.”

Once again, at the center of this fear is that “I’m not worth or worthy” of having an estate or legacy plan. All our lives we pay for things. We pay for food, shelter/a home, a car, a cell phone, electricity, clothes, and the list goes on. Each of these items has a cost with a wide variety of ranges. Estate/Legacy planning is no different. Every adult human being on this planet is worth leaving a legacy. You get to decide what your legacy looks and sounds like.


  1. “It’s too complicated.”

This fear is explained above and linked to fear #1: Another deeply experienced fear is that we aren’t smart enough to figure out what needs to be done. There is most definitely a mystique surrounding “estate planning.” The legalese of estate planning sounds like, and appears to be, a thing that only wealthy people do because they can afford to hire an attorney or legal firm to take care of it all. The second part of that same fear is, “I don’t even know where to begin.” The truth is that like everyone else, there are lots of wealthy people who avoid estate planning. If you can honestly answer questions about your own life, you can create a legacy plan.


  1. “I don’t have time to do this.”

People find time to do the things that are important to them. Sadly, many people don’t take time to care for themselves because they don’t value themselves. Legacy planning has a component of caring for yourself. Unlike ordinary estate plans, a good legacy plan should have a component of planning for personal care as aging progresses. 


When we don’t take time to consider and plan for our old age we create a huge burden for our family. That is the one consistent and loud concern I hear from people, “I never want to be a burden to my family.” Because we avoid dealing with our own aging process and we don’t take time to plan for it, we become a burden for our family members.


  1. “I’m too young.  I’m healthy”

AVOIDANCE of the inevitable is one of our biggest human fears. As I said above, we hate thinking about our own mortality. Once again, we aren’t going to live forever! One of the unpleasant realities of life, particularly in the last couple of years, is that accidents, disease and sickness are no respecters of age, yours or anyone else’s.


People from every era, age 30 through age 80, have all said to me, “I’m too young and healthy and I’ve got time. I’ll do it later.” Many families have suffered when their loved one died without any planning in place. No planning creates a burdensome mess for your loved ones when they can least afford that pain.


  1. “Dwelling on my death too much it might cause it to happen.”

This is a superstition people believe but don’t often voice. We humans have always had a fear of death and the dead. Authors and filmmakers have capitalized on this. They know that to scare someone, all they need to do is have a cemetery setting at night and a dead body or the undead lurking nearby. Many of the rituals that have developed over the years are based on these superstitious fears.


Here are some superstitions from an article by Marilyn A. Mendoza Ph.D. in the journal Psychology Today:

  • After a death, windows were closed so the deceased’s soul could not fly out. Today, there are many who break with tradition and open a window so the soul can be free.

  • Mirrors were covered after a death so that the spirit could not be trapped in it. Another superstition associated with covering mirrors is that the first to see their reflection in the mirror is the next to die.

  • Clocks were to be stopped at the time of the death.

  • Coins were used to cover the deceased’s eyes. This originated in ancient Greece where coins were placed in the mouth of the deceased for payment to the underworld. More recently, coins were used to keep the eyes of the deceased closed as eyes were considered the windows of the soul. Therefore, it was important to not let the soul leave the body to harm the living.

  • When the deceased was carried out of the house, it was always feet first. This was done to keep the deceased from looking into the house and getting another family member to join him. 

  • After the death, the body was watched over by family and friends to ensure that the spirit did not leave the body. Watching over the dead was also a way to avoid a premature burial. Taphephobia was the term given to the fear of being buried alive, a not uncommon occurrence in the 19th century. 

  • Those who watched over the body were instructed to cover their mouth if they yawned so the spirit could not enter their body.

  • Covering the deceased with a sheet was another way the living protected themselves from the soul leaving the deceased’s body.

  • Family pictures were also turned face down as another way to keep from being possessed by the spirit of the deceased. 

In addition to the superstitions about the dead’s body, there are also many superstitions associated with cemeteries and burial. 

  • Special mourning clothing, including veils, were worn as a way of hiding the mourner’s identity, protecting them from the dead. In England and the United States, clothing in black was associated with the grief of the mourner.

  • When passing a cemetery, people were told to hold their breath, otherwise, they would not be buried.

  • Pallbearers were to wear gloves so the spirit of the deceased could not enter the body.

  • Bells ringing at a funeral were also ways to keep the spirit away.

  • Rain on a funeral was felt to be a good omen that the deceased would go to heaven. If it thundered, that was even better as it indicated that the soul had made it to heaven. 

  • Tombstones were initially just rocks and stones used to mark where the deceased was buried. But over time, the stones became large monuments not only to mark the grave but to keep the spirit from escaping.

  • Taking flowers from a grave means that the spirit will haunt you.

  • One should never whistle in a cemetery as it will summon the devil. 

  • Finally, some clever entrepreneur must have started this superstition: As long as the funeral bill remains unpaid, the dead will not rest in the grave. 

These eight “reasons” are only a few of the many fears that get in our way of creating our legacy plan. There are many others but these are ones I hear frequently. I would love to hear from you of other fears or variations of the ones listed above that you know. 

Is there one of these fears that resonates with you? I’d like to know your thoughts about the difficulty of and avoidance of legacy planning. 

Maybe this has spurred you to finally get your plan in place. I’d love to help you with creating a legacy plan beyond an ordinary old estate plan. 

judy@theguardiansgift.org

www.theguardiansgift.org

(404) 900-6923

~Dr. Judy

10. How To Become The Hero For Your Family 

September 9th, 2021

You know how back in the day having an “estate plan” was considered high class or only something wealthy people did? And, you know how estate planning became expensive, complicated, and boringly legalistic because you had to have an attorney to get it done?

You know how, you want nothing more in life than to feel respected, appreciated, and loved by your family but worry that you don’t have or can’t afford to leave an inheritance. 

 A lot of people avoid estate planning like the plague because they think they can’t afford it, don’t need it, or they do the bare minimum. Estate planning has become a “chore” carrying with it an unwanted feeling of obligation. People say, “I must, or I have to get my affairs in order.” That statement has the same ring and tenor as a death knell. 

But then, The Guardian’s Gift: A Curated Life was created. The Guardian’s Gift is the most comprehensive, enjoyable, affordable, and easy to use legacy planning tool in the world. Please notice I switched terms here from “estate planning” to “legacy planning.” There is a notable difference.

An estate plan typically includes a will, maybe a trust, a power of attorney, and possibly a health care advance directive. A legacy plan is much more robust and doesn’t focus on death and dying. As a matter of fact, a legacy plan, unlike an ordinary estate plan, is all about your life, your story. A legacy plan is your life story told by you and supported by the documents of those stories. 

Who doesn’t like to tell their story? Right? Everyone who uses The Guardian’s Gift gets to tell their story, their way. Unlike ordinary estate plans, your story is the foundation of your legacy plan and is the personality glue holding it all together. That personality glue makes each Guardian’s Gift unique, personal, and like no other.

Every Guardian’s Gift is a work of art created by you. Each one is more valuable than anything else you leave behind. Families who get a Guardian’s Gift life book know they are loved. You become the hero of the story because you leave an inheritance of family wisdom, ancestry, and connection. 

When you create your Guardian’s Gift you will feel generous and satisfied that you are taking care of and protecting your family at a time when they are overwhelmed and vulnerable. Your family will be proud that you loved them enough to pay it forward after you’re gone.

Create a legacy plan and become the hero for your family. 

Begin today by calling (404) 900-6923 or sending me an email at judy@theguardiansgift.org to find out how you can become the hero for your family. 

~Dr. Judy

09. Pieces and Parts

August 9th, 2021

I have a couple of questions for you. Would you go to a tire store and buy four tires; to another store and buy a steering wheel; another store and get a motor; another store and purchase headlights and taillights; yet another store and buy car seats; and with all these items believe you now have a complete and functioning car?  

I think I might be able to build a bicycle with all the right parts, tools, time, and a place to do it. I would definitely need directions or a model to go by. However, I’m also pretty sure I wouldn’t ride any bike I personally built.

Would you go to the lumber store and buy a bunch of two by fours, nails, plumbing and electrical supplies and declare to the world that you have a house to live in? 

Of course not! 

Now let me say right up front, there are some individuals that could build a car if they have all the materials. And, there are some people who could build themselves a house with all the right materials and tools. These are rare individuals. 

Most of us buy an already assembled and put together car. We typically buy a house already built or we hire a contractor with skills, expertise, and experience to build a house for us.

Would you ever consider operating on yourself or one of your loved ones? Absolutely not (unless you happen to be a surgeon or you were stranded alone on a desert island). Even removing a splinter from your hand or foot when you’re a kid was a major ordeal with lots of ouches and some tears, depending on the size and ferocity of the invading wood sliver or brier.

I’m constantly amazed when I ask people about their legacy plan and they tell me they have a will and possibly some other legal documents and are; therefore, good to go. The belief that having a will and a Power of Attorney is a sufficient legacy plan is no different than declaring that you have a car or a house when all you really have are the individual pieces and parts.

There is another big problem with how most people create a legacy or estate plan: it is something created for someone else. Parents typically set up wills, trusts, and legal documents for their family and their heirs. That type of plan leaves the person creating it completely out of the package.

It’s like this: just because you have the pieces and parts of a car and the materials to build a house doesn’t mean you have transportation or a home even if you build it yourself. The thing about the car and the house – they both need you in them!

For a car to go it must have fuel and most importantly, it needs you to be in it driving it. Yes, I know we have cars that can drive themselves coming into the marketplace. But they aren’t perfected yet and are still in the testing phase. 

Buying a house doesn’t make it a home. You have to be in it! Both the car and the house need life, events, and memories to have significance and do the job they are created for.  Both things have certain “rules and/or laws” they must adhere to - to exist and function properly. 

Cars need fuel; they are supposed to be on only one side of the road; they must be insured; and they require certain amounts of maintenance. Houses have to meet certain building codes; there may be HOA fees for their location; and they too, need maintenance or they will decay and fall down.

Once again, you are the key to making those things happen so the car and the house are fulfilling their purpose. You are also the key to your legacy plan. Any legacy plan worth anything is really all about you. Of course, it has a purpose beyond you – to take care of your loved ones after you’re gone; to get them where they need to go. But the legacy plan is truly all about you, your life, your story, your wishes, your hopes and dreams for how you’re to be remembered.

Like the car and the house, your legacy is something you should build with professional help. 

When we buy a car or a house, we get certain basics but then we select options, or colors, or personalized license tags to make it demonstrate that it belongs to us and showcases our personality. All cars and houses have some basics and essentials but we all put our own stamp or twist on the ones we purchase to show the world that this particular car or house belongs to me.

Legacy planning is fun. It is telling your story and recounting your memories. Legacy planning is also deciding what options and basics are needed in your particular situation. Legacy planning needs to ensure safety for participants and meet the rules and covenants of the particular family. Legacy planning allows for options and personalization. 

At The Guardian’s Gift, we work with you to tell your story and curate the pieces and parts of your life that are important to you and your loved ones. We are the contractors to assist you in building out the legacy plan that fits you and your family and gets everyone safely where they need to go.

Will you attempt surgery on yourself or a loved one or will you hire a professionally trained expert? Like a surgeon, we at The Guardian’s Gift work in concert with other professionals like a doctor who works with nurses, physical and occupational therapist, administrative staff, and other professionals to get you on a healthy path. We work with attorneys, financial managers, insurance agents, and other professionals depending on your needs.

Like a housing contractor we work with you using your blueprint, making sure you have the best building materials, subcontractors, and building codes adherence for time management and efficiency.  We all want our loved ones living in a safe and happy home. We all want our loved ones cared for after we’re gone. That’s why we buy insurance. The Guardian’s Gift is your insurance policy for your legacy plan.

We’d love to chat with you about building your very own, highly personalized legacy plan. Of course, you can go about on your own and get the pieces and parts and put one together on your own. There will always be those talented individuals who can build a car or a house without help…but for most of us: we need some help.

Call today and don’t let procrastination keep you from getting your very own biographical legacy plan. 

https://theguardiansgift.simplybook.me/v2/

~Dr. Judy

08. How do I decide which medical alert system is best? Ask these questions before you decide.

July 5, 2021

Are you thinking about a medical alert system for yourself or for a loved one? Many senior adults live alone and the risk of falling, being incapacitated for long periods due to illness, or emergency interventions for physical/mental/health issues is a typical concern as we age. 

My Mom and I have been discussing a medical alert system for her safety. Like a lot of senior adults on a fixed and limited income, she worries about the costs and she doesn’t want me paying for it. I want the best for her safety but I want to be sure we (she) makes a wise investment. This is one of those difficult conversations that we at The Guardian’s Gift sometimes talk about: which one, how much, what all does it do, and many more questions. 

I set out to investigate which one would be the best for her situation. I quickly discovered that, like most things, there is a ton to learn, know and ask. So, I thought I’d at least share the questions you might want to ask as it relates to your particular situation and location. This investigation is part of legacy planning that isn’t part of estate planning. Helping your loved one gracefully maintain a sense of dignified independence while keeping them safe is your sharing in their legacy journey. 

I’ve actually included a comparison chart for your convenience and use at the end of this blog. 

1. Costs?

  • Set up and installation fees?
  • Activation fee?
  • Monthly fee(s)?


2. Advance Payment Discounts

  • Are there discounts if you pay for a longer term versus monthly?
  • Senior Discounts?
  • Other Discounts?


3. Monitoring Agreement Term – Read the fine print!

  • You agreed to purchase or rent a personal emergency tracking device from a company and subscribe to monitoring services which will be provided by a third-party subcontractor call center. The company agrees to provide monitoring services for the device in accordance with the terms and conditions of the agreement


4. Repairs or Replacement Charges

  • Who is responsible for any servicing, repairs, or replacement problems or parts?


5. Cancellation Policy & Discounts

  • Can the contract be canceled at any time without a penalty?
  • Are payments prorated if not used for an entire month or contract period?
  • What about refunds?


6. Equipment

  • Who owns the equipment?
  • Does it have to be returned at the death of the user?


7. Approximate Button Range in Typical Home

  • How far from the equipment is the range?
  • Can the user go outside or even leave the house?
  • What happens when they go on a trip, grocery, doc appointment?


8. Watch/Button Battery Life

  • How long is the battery life?
  • Does it use special batteries or are they common and easy to find?


9. What Happens if I Lose Power?

  • Is there a backup?


10. Is the Watch/Button Waterproof?

  • What happens if it gets wet?


11. How Can The Button Be Worn?

  • Wristband
  • Necklace style
  • Other


12. Is The Equipment UL Certified?


13. Does The System Automatically Test Itself To The Monitoring Center?

  • Does the user have some tasks to perform to test the system?


14. Is There 24 Hour Technical & Customer Support?


15. Where Is The Monitoring Station Located?

  • Is the station TMA (The Monitoring Association) Five Diamond Certified?

 

16. What Is The Typical Response Time When Button Pressed?

  • How does it work if the button is pressed? Who is notified and how?


17. How Fast Does System Ship?

  • How soon can I get one and get it monitoring my loved one?


18. Do You Need Separate Systems For Mom & Dad?


19. Is There Both Activity and Inactivity Monitoring?

  • Can you tell if the user is simply asleep or if there is another problem?


20. Is There A Fall Detection Function?


21. Cellular or No Phone Line

  • Does this system work through a land line only or is there a mobile function?
  • Check fees for mobile functionality.


22. Non-GPS Mobile Alert System For Protection On The Go?

  • See question 7 above


23. What About Smoke or Carbon Monoxide Protection?


24. Is There GPS Medical Alert Tracking System?

  • This is especially important for someone suffering with dementia or some cognitive decline. 


25. Special Offers?


As always, I hope this information is helpful. Should you need further assistance or find you’re ready to create your legacy plan please reach out and make an appointment. The Guardian’s Gift is all about creating a legacy plan beyond ordinary estate plans.

Download the chart here: Medical Alert systems.pdf

Get your copy of the new E-book “The Talk: Life Transition Discussions Made Simple”

https://guardiansgift.samcart.com/products/the-talk-guide.  This book can help you talk about a life alert system with your loved one.


Check us out at:  theguardiansgift.org


~Dr. Judy

PS. Don’t forget the comparison chart. I hope you find it helpful.

07. Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care of an Aging Loved One

June 11, 2021

In our society at present, one topic continuing to grow in popularity is that of “self-care”.  It seems to me that almost everywhere we look, somebody is preaching at us to take care of ourselves.  Influencers on social media are showing us how to do “self-care” with face masks and bubble baths.  Celebrities on tv tell us their favorite ways to “self-care” by showing us their fancy vacations.  Our bosses send us emails telling us to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves.  Magazine articles scream the best top 10 “self-care” ideas. During covid these messages emphasizing the importance of self-care only seem to have skyrocketed.  Don’t get me wrong, caring for your self is so important.  I’m glad that society is finally starting to come around to the idea of taking time for taking care of ourselves.  But honestly, self-care is much easier said than done.  This is especially true if you’re the caretaker of an aging loved one.  

Before I say anything else, if you fall into this category, I want you to know that what you’re doing is incredible.  I am so proud of you.  The time, energy, and effort it takes to care for an aging loved one is no joke.  To say it’s a big responsibility would be a gross understatement.  If you get anything out of this blog post, I hope it’s this: 

1. Taking care of yourself while taking care of an aging loved one is tough, but it’s not impossible

2. The quality of care you present to others will be much better if it’s flowing from a full cup

3. You don’t have to do it alone

Now you may not have willingly chosen to be your loved one’s caretaker.  You may have felt like there weren’t any other options and like you HAD to step up.  Maybe you started off wanting to and feeling like you had the capacity to do this, but now you’re feeling burnt out.  Both of these paths may lead to resentment.  Resentment is a valid, but not very pleasant emotion.  It’s not fun to be on either side of resentment.  For you, as the caretaker, or for your loved one who might be starting to sense your resentment towards them.  This is definitely not the ideal situation for either party.  While feelings of burnout and resentment might still pop up, there are ways to prevent the frequency of these feelings.  You guessed it… the way to prevent these unpleasantries is by caring for yourself.  

We’ve already acknowledged that being the caretaker of an aging loved one is hard work.  It’s time consuming.  It’s energy consuming.  You may end your days feeling exhausted in all senses of the word.  So, it probably seems impossible and even silly to think you could fit in some sort of time for yourself.  Like I said before, it’s tough, but not impossible.  It all comes down to your priorities.  As a caretaker you’re probably someone who is used to putting others first, so this may feel unnatural.  But I’m going to suggest putting yourself first.  I promise, you’re not selfish for doing so.  If anything, you will be more equipped with the energy to serve your loved ones better.  

There are lots of ways to care for yourself and lots of ways to put yourself first.  And get this, they don’t have to be time consuming.  Even if it’s just one thing that you start with.  When you wake up in the morning, set aside 5 minutes for yourself.  It can be longer if you have the time, but for now consider starting small.  In these 5 minutes of ~you time~ I suggest picking something that makes you feel FULL.  That’ll look different for everybody.  A few ideas that may work for you are, 5 minutes of prayer or meditation, journaling, drinking a coffee or tea, stretching.  These are small things, but the point is to show yourself some love and remind yourself that you matter through all of this too.  You deserve care and love just as much as the person you’re caring for does!

From a place of feeling more cared for, you’ll be able to better serve your loved one.  They deserve to be cared for well.  While it’s not always easy and every day comes with its own challenges, you can try to give them your best.  That’s a lot easier to do when you’re feeling your best first.  This quote has become extremely popular, but it rings true: “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Remember to take care of yourself first”. 

You might try taking some time for yourself and still feel massively overwhelmed.  That’s okay.  You’re not superman or wonder woman.  You can’t be expected to do it all on your own.  It’s hard to admit, but some things are beyond our capacities.  It’s important to recognize your limits and know that when you hit them, it’s okay to reach out for help.  You may not have any other close family to assist you, or you might, and it still might feel like too much.  There are resources out there to help relieve the burden put on caregivers.  Depending on where your loved one is at in their journey, you may consider hospice care or assisted living help.  Maybe you’re not to that point but you need help getting finances, affairs, funeral plans etc. in order.  This is a point where The Guardian’s Gift could be a great resource for you.  We’re here to make it a little easier to organize all of the documents, make plans, have everything in one place, and honestly so much more.  If you’re overwhelmed, we have guides who can walk alongside you during the process.  The point is there’s no shame in needing some additional help!  

To recap, taking care of an aging loved one is indeed difficult.  Taking care of yourself during this time may feel tough, but it isn’t impossible.  Prioritizing your own self care can make a huge impact in the quality of care you are providing for your loved one.  And finally, you don’t have to take this all on alone.  Asking for help is a radical form of self-care.

“An empty lantern provides no light.  Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly”- unknown.  

Be well and please take care of yourself friends!

~Logan





06. Protecting Your Humans

June 3, 2021

I love the beach! But this fair complexion lady has to be very careful about sitting all day out in the sunshine.  I’ve had my fair share of sunburns and I definitely do not want to go there again, if I can avoid it.

So, I sit under a tent or an umbrella and still enjoy soaking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the beach. I really enjoy watching the people walking up and down passing by my sentinel seat of observation.

A little while back I really honed in – I focused – on two different couples with their canine associates walking in opposite directions. In the beginning each couple was some distance away, one couple heading North and the other, South. Each couple allowed their dog to run into the water and out to the full extension of the leash held tight by the male of the couple.

At first, I really wasn’t THAT focused on the couples. But as the inched their way closer to an inevitable crossing of paths right in front of me I began to notice some curious, but minute changes in their pets.

Dog number one appeared to be a full-blooded German Shepherd. He was mostly black with touches of caramel colored fur. He was muscular and an inch or two larger than most German Shepherds I’ve ever seen. While he (I’m assuming it was a male dog) was at a distance he seemed to dance around and be very playful with his human friends.

Dog number two was a little smaller and appeared lighter in weight and in coloring. This smaller canine was mostly a whitish color with various black and brown markings but frolicked around his owners in a much more carefree way than D-1. Dog 2’s fur was softer and slightly longer than D-1’s stiffer, crew cut looking fur.

As the couples closed ground and grew nearer to each other with less and less sand between them, the dogs began to adjust their attitudes and focus. One couple was down closer to the water and the second couple had moved slightly toward the dunes dominated part of the beach.

D-1 seemed to shrink an inch or so but as I watched I noticed that his muscles were tightening and his stance was more of a beginning crouch. His ears slowly stood straight up for a few seconds before they folded down close to his skull. His eyes riveted on the other couple and the smaller whitish interloper.

D-2 had also begun a change that was becoming apparent to the leash holder because I could see the slack in the leash was much shorter than it was moments earlier. As a matter of fact, the leash length had shortened considerably for both dogs. 

D-2 moved closer to his people and made an obvious insertion of himself between his people and the other dog family coming towards him. D-2’s tactic seemed more of self-sacrifice by way placing his body between his dog family and the approaching other dog family.

By the time there was only about 20 yards between them the leashes had been reigned in to pull the animals tight to the side of the leash holder. I find it interesting that neither dog barked or growled. It seemed to me that the focus for each dog was protection of their humans and they chose similar, but slightly different tactics. 

D-1 seemed to be in a more offensive stance and D-2 seemed more defensively oriented even though the focus was the same: protect my humans. Like D-1 and D-2 most of us have a single-minded desire when it comes to protecting our humans. Some of us come at it from a very attacking offensive posture and others of us simply place ourselves between our people and danger.

There are a multitude of ways to protect our families. Whatever protection mechanisms you choose, are your humans aware of what is coming toward them down the beach of life? Once we reach a certain point in the journey our options for adjustment are like the shortening of the leash: the range becomes much tighter.

Dog 1 and Dog 2, with their respective humans passed by each other with no necessary interaction and walked on down the beach. But they were ready! You can be aggressive or defensive in how you go about protecting your family. The Guardian’s Gift offers options for you to choose from. Our DIY version allows for your own ears and fur up version or you might prefer a guide to hold on to while you prepare. 

The point is; you have options. The Guardian’s Gift is a choice you can make to prepare for the protection of your humans. We don’t know what else is down the beach. But we do know that there will be another encounter of some kind coming toward us. Be ready!

~Dr. Judy Butler, PsyD





05. Your Story Matters

May 17, 2021

Maya Angelou, one of my favorite poets and arguably one of the greatest story-tellers of all time once said, “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you”. 

I think this quote holds a lot of truth. I’m a big believer in the power of storytelling. Humans have been sharing stories since the beginning of time. Our stories can carry traditions, memories, and even legacy. Stories can empower others, connect us, and draw us deeper into our sense of self. In case nobody has ever told you, you are full of stories too. 

Our entire lives can be looked at as one long story. Within it, many various chapters containing significant life events that shaped us each into who we are today. Maybe it sounds a little cliche to think of it that way, but I’m here to encourage you that the story of your life matters! With that being said, your life story should be told! 

One of my favorite things about my grandma is hearing her childhood stories. I’ve obviously only known her in her older age, so it’s so special to me when she shares stories with me about her childhood. Our childhoods hold beautiful similarities and also stark differences as society has evolved over the years. It’s so fun to compare different phases of our lives and learn what shaped my grandma into the sassy, sharp, and wise woman I know and love today! There’s history in those stories and when she shares them I get a better picture of her life as a whole. I think there’s so much value in that. As my grandma gets older (85 years old now!), I get a little sad thinking about how one day she won’t be here to share her stories any longer. I hope myself and my family can keep telling them and carry on her legacy long after she leaves this earth. She, along with any other human being, deserves to be remembered. 

Conversely, I am only 23 years old (just a wee baby, some of you may be thinking). However, I often think about my future and what I want my life to be. I even think about how I want to change the world and the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. When people hear the word legacy, they often think of money, property, or possessions someone may be leaving behind to loved ones after they pass. The kind of legacy I’m talking about though is much deeper. I’m referring to a legacy of memories. I like how WikiEthica puts it as, “A legacy is a part of a person that lives on long after that person has passed. A legacy also leaves behind the story of a person so that they are not forgotten”. Our life stories are our legacies. Our stories are what we will be remembered by after we’ve left this earth! 

Stories can live on in our heads for what feels like forever, but do our loved ones know our most cherished and important stories? We hope those closest to us will remember the stories that made us who we are long after we’re gone, but that isn’t guaranteed. This is one of the leading ideas behind the Guardian’s Gift time capsule. While the time capsule holds important documents and after life plans, it can also be used as a space to hold memories. It’s a place for stories to be documented and legacies to live on for generations to come! I encourage you to reflect on your most important life stories. Some stories bring us laughs and smiles. Some stories bring us hardship and growth. Each and every story holds so much value though! Do your loved ones know your favorite life stories? Do you know theirs? What kind of legacy do

you wish to leave behind? Just some food for thought. If you need a place to safely hold your life’s stories, The Guardian’s Gift can help you with that. 

I’ll leave you with this quote, “There is no greater power on this earth than story”- Libba Bray. 

Use your power, your story matters! May your story be told and may your legacy live on forever.

Talk to you soon 

~Logan




04. To Delay or Not: Is it Procrastination?

May 11, 2021

Pablo Picasso said, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” 

What’s interesting about this quote is Pablo Picasso had no will. Obviously, he was willing to die having left this major life area unattended. According to one recent survey, 68% of Americans don’t have a will.

On March of this year (2021) I posted a couple of weeks on the Butler Counseling & Consulting Facebook page about famous people who died with no will and the results. 

Pablo Picasso died in 1973 at the age of 91, leaving behind a fortune in assets that included artwork, five homes, cash, gold and bonds. Because Picasso died intestate and left no will, it took six years to settle his estate at a cost of $30 million. His assets were eventually divided up among six heirs.

Procrastination affects all types of people and families across all socioeconomic levels. Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. You might argue that sometimes delaying or postponing might be a good thing. 

In this age of immediate gratification and attentions spans of 10 seconds or less, learning to wait might be considered a virtue. But the process of procrastination has more to do with “WHY” we delay or postpone something.

When we postpone or delay out of fear, anxiety, perfectionism, or avoidance, we create hardships for ourselves and for our friends and family. “It’s self-harm,” said Dr. Piers Steel, a professor of motivational psychology at the University of Calgary and the author of “The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done.”

One major difference between procrastination and simply waiting is this: procrastination has no end date and simply waiting has a trigger point of turning towards completion. A problem here is when simply waiting becomes the justification for our procrastination.

Let me explain. Simply waiting carries a named or un-named belief that “I will get that done when…”  We often justify our procrastination with the idea of “getting around to it” or “one day” as simply waiting. The implication is that the item of our avoidance will get done. 

Other justifications for procrastination could be, “it costs too much and I can’t afford that right now; I don’t have time; or it’s on my list.” 

Procrastination based in negative emotions is a defense mechanism undergirded by the belief that doing the thing we’re avoiding will cause us harm in some way. Many people feel that if they focus in any way on death or end of life issues they will actually cause death to happen or the very least, cause a lot of pain. This line of thought focuses on ourselves in a negative way and promotes an unhealthy self-image of “I’m not enough; I’m not good enough; or I have nothing of value.”

Sadly, the opposite is what’s real and true. We all have value to those who love us. We are all extremely important to someone. Even dysfunctional families have a story to tell that could shed light on why some bad things have happened in the family. Telling those stories could provide the healing and restoration to move a loved one forward on their journey or telling those stories could release long held anger, resentment, or anxiety and finally bring peace.

The Guardian’s Gift is a place to let go of procrastination and finally tell the story, your story. We here at The Guardian’s Gift want to help you move past your procrastination so that you can create a legacy to be proud of, a legacy your family will cherish. Sometimes, we need someone to help us, to guide us, to move along with us.

We will prompt you with questions that gently lead you through your life and help you put everything together in a beautiful life legacy book. We will encourage you to make the steps that will move you through completion of, and organizing a legacy plan that is not painful and demonstrates your love and value to those most important to you.

We can even help you tell those difficult stories that promote healing and family restoration. Procrastination might be self-harm, but procrastination of planning for your legacy is most definitely harmful to your family.

You don’t have to be like the 68% of Americans or the Pablo Picassos of the world who die each year leaving major life areas unattended and undone. Don't let this happen to you or your family! Let us at The Guardian's Gift guide you through the process and prevent crisis and confusion.

You might be a procrastinator if ………. but you don’t have to be. 

“You may delay, but time will not.” ― Benjamin Franklin

~Dr. Judy H. Butler, PsyD


03. Closer to Closure

April 29, 2021


12 Actions for 12 Conversations: a plan for the way forward.

We are all moving forward in life whether we want to or not. Some of us would rather not grow up and we sure as heck don’t want to grow old.  Peter Pan, (the boy who didn’t want to grow up) tried his hardest to remain a perpetual boy. He definitely lived in “the moment of now” and avoided any notion of plans for tomorrow.

J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan said, “To live will be an awfully big adventure.” And he also said, “To die will be an awfully big adventure.” Both things are true. But I find it interesting that if we have a plan for the adventure of living we can most definitely experience the adventure of dying as a much more pleasant type of adventure. Both of those things can also be true.

I even gave a TEDx talk about that very thing!

Our anxiety levels tend to accelerate when we feel out of control. Interestingly, our bodies don’t know the difference between how anxiety and excitement feel physically. The difference is only discernable by what our brains tells us is true. Many public speakers profess telling themselves they are excited about delivering a talk so as to dispel the notion of the fear of failing in front of an audience. Rather, they claim the physically sweaty palms and butterfly churning stomach as signs of excitement rather than dreaded anxiety.

How do anxiety, control, excitement, and adventure all relate? When we go on a journey of any sort, we usually know our way or we seek guidance, aka our GPS. If we don’t know the way, we seek comfort from the voice of the GPS (we call her Lula Bell). Lula Bell tells us each turn to make and lets us know how far till the next maneuver. We feel in control and our anxiety tends to be minimal.

However, if we jump in our car and simply start driving without a map or plan we can become lost and our anxiety level increases. Our brains quickly let us know that we’re lost and the “what ifs” begin. What if we run out of gas? What if the car breaks down way out here? What if we’re late getting to our appointment? 

On the other hand, an adventure allows for some changes along the way and there are other people with us on our journey. Adventures are most definitely mapped out with stops along the way to the final destination. Adventures provide a sense of some control and direction while allowing for a variety of input from your fellow travelers and any number of unknowns between selected stopping points. Companions might offer intriguing observations or they could direct your attention to an obvious pothole up ahead.

We can never be certain of what we’ll see or experience on the adventure journey but we feel excited rather than anxious because we have laid out our plans ahead of time and communicated our intentions to our fellow travelers. That’s what Closer to Closure: 12 Actions for 12 Conversations: a plan for the way forward is all about. C2C is meant to chart your adventure with input from your traveling companions.

One of the things I’ve learned about this journey is that there is a huge number of people that are closed off to the excitement of an adventure. Sometimes we try so hard to control every aspect of our lives we shut out the very love and input that would make our journey much more enjoyable.

Consider having a conversation with your loved ones about one serious topic about living and dying, just one! There are so many places the conversation might go but it could definitely go somewhere you might not expect. If you’re afraid of what might happen, the C2C checklist is a tool to help you consider topics that would get the conversation started. Pick one!

The adventure of living (and loving) will enhance the adventure of dying. Both are adventures but the plans, and conversations about the plans, shared with others should be a source of excitement rather than anxiety. 

You can purchase the PDF here on our site: https://guardians-gift-time-capsule-introduction.thinkific.com/courses/closertoclosure

"You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!" ~Dr. Seuss

~Dr. Judy H. Butler, PsyD


02. So You Want to Talk About Death and Dying?

April 23, 2021

So, you want to talk about death and dying … of course you don’t.  Nobody really wants to talk about death and dying and nobody really does until they absolutely have to.  Death is a topic that feels dark and even taboo.  Death feels like a topic we shouldn’t be thinking about, and especially not talking about.  It’s not typically a topic you bring up while casually grabbing coffee or a drink with a friend.  If you did, you’d probably make your friend very uncomfortable and maybe even a little concerned about you.  

Oddly enough, I’m somebody who’s interested in discussing this topic.  I’m guessing maybe you are too if you were drawn to this post.  The truth is death is a topic we SHOULD be discussing.  Of course, most people don’t want to die, but it is a fact of life.  This is going to sound morbid, but just stick with me.  Imagine you died tomorrow.  Would any of your loved ones know what your wishes are? Do you want to be buried or cremated?  How do you want your funeral to be?  Do you even want a traditional funeral?  These questions merely scratch the surface of all the post death plans there are to think about.  Maybe you haven’t even considered it any of this for yourself.  I get it, it’s a lot to think about.  All the preparations can feel really overwhelming.  However, it can be a lot more overwhelming for grieving loved ones to deal with after the fact.  After a death, close family members are left with many responsibilities such as preparing for the funeral, handling finances, dealing with legal matter, etc.  All of these things on top of processing grief are difficult enough.  Dealing with these matters without any sense of direction sounds even harder though.

An article from Co-Op Media found that nearly 18 million people admitted being uncomfortable about discussing death.  This statistic comes from a survey taken in the UK.  What’s interesting is that I could not even find statistics on this topic for the US, and maybe that’s reflective of a bigger problem.  People clearly don’t want to talk about it, so much so, that we can’t even collect significant data about discussing death.  By avoiding the topic of death and dying, we are doing ourselves and our loved ones a disservice.  By not talking about it, we miss the opportunity to not only be prepared for the inevitable, but maybe we miss an opportunity for deeper connection.  As someone who has had some experience surrounding the topic, allow me to encourage you as to why we should be bringing it up.

1. Opportunity for deeper connection

As we’ve addressed, death can be an uncomfortable thing to talk about.  It doesn’t have to be awkward though if we don’t make it.  Odds are if you’re thinking about bringing it up with a loved one, they’re probably already thinking about it too.  By initiating the conversation, you’ve created an opportunity.  How you bring the topic up is completely up to you.  Maybe it’ll arise naturally.  Maybe you can bring it up with humor.  Or maybe it’ll feel a little abrupt, but you’ll bring it up anyways because it’s something you’ve been thinking about.  Once you’ve opened the door though, then you have a chance to talk about preferences, fears, regrets, and memories.  While not all of this might be happy and lighthearted, it’s given both you and your loved one an opportunity to speak their mind.  Recently my dad and I got on the topic of death and what’s out there afterwards.  That could be a whole other blog post in itself.  However, the point is that we were able to talk a little about both of our doubts and fears as well as faith and afterlife.  I felt like I understood my dad a lot better after that conversation and I even learned some more about why he’s hesitant to talk about death himself.  Since death can be a deeply emotional and personal topic, by initiating a conversation about it, we have the potential to connect on a deeper and much more intimate level with our loved ones.  

2. To be prepared and the power of decision

Talking about death is a great start to figuring out what you or your loved one wants your end of life to look like.  While we don’t specifically have control of our own death, we do have control over some of the things surrounding it.  We are able to decide what kind of end of life care we think we’ll want.  We can decide who to designate our money or possessions to.  We can decide what we want to be done with our bodies after death.  We can also choose seemingly simple things like what kind of music or flowers we’d prefer at our funeral.  There is power in decision, and if we have the opportunity to choose these things before we leave this earth, why shouldn’t we?  Many of the things I’ve just named fall into what’s called “Advance care planning”.  Simply put, this just means planning ahead for end of life.  A study on end-of-life care in elderly patients found that “advance care planning improves end of life care and patient and family satisfaction and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression in surviving relatives” (pubmed.gov).  Avoiding stress and potential family conflict down the road sure sounds like a good reason to bring up death sooner rather than later to me.  

3. To bring some peace to yourself and your loved one

Thinking about death can bring up intense feelings of fear for many individuals.  Due to the ongoing pandemic and the time that we find ourselves in, fear over death has arguably been heightened.  Something that many of us didn’t think about before has suddenly been brought to the forefront of our minds.  If you’ve lost a loved one due to covid-19, I truly am so sorry for your loss.  Whether you’ve been personally impacted by the pandemic or not, odds are the 500,000+ American lives lost (cdc.org) have at least caused you to pause and consider how unexpectedly we can be faced with death.  It’s become abundantly clear how anxiety provoking death can be.  This is even more reason for us to begin discussing it.  By discussing it, we can alleviate some of the stress and anxiety surrounding dying.  By discussing our fears, the unknown, our deepest wants, our plans, we can have peace.  We can have peace knowing that we’ve talked about it.  We don’t have to worry about if we’ll have the kind of funeral we wanted because we’ve talked about it.  We don’t have to worry about if our affairs are in order because we’ve already talked about it.  When we’re prepared, we can have peace.  Peace is available to all of us and often times the first step is to talk about it.     

Conclusion:

A lot of the things written in this blog post may have been uncomfortable or overwhelming to read.  Confronting difficult topics such as death can feel that way at first.  If anything, I hope this blog was encouraging and motivating to you.  I hope it made you want to change the way we talk think and talk about death in our society.  If you take anything away from this, I want you to take away that it’s never too early to start discussing death with your loved ones.  Would it shock you to know that the writer of this post is only 23 years old?  Yep, that’s right.  A 23-year-old is on the internet talking to you about being prepared for your death.  Maybe you won’t take it as far as writing to strangers about death on the internet, but I definitely encourage you to start thinking about it yourself.  Start bringing the topic up to your family members and loved ones.  Let’s be a part of taking away the taboo.  Death is as natural as birth.  It is inevitable after all.  So, we really should start talking about it.  Go ahead, bring up your living will or burial preferences over coffee.  I dare you.  

Until next time,

Logan :)  



01. WHAT IS A "LEGACY PLAN?” 

April 14, 2021

A “legacy plan” is the story of You: your life, your wisdom, and your desires. A legacy plan includes ordinary estate planning but goes far beyond simply having some legal documents. 

The traditional way of making sure an end-of-life process was mapped out involved a piecemeal approach. It used to be that an individual would get a Will along with a Health Care Directive and/or a Power of Attorney and maybe a life insurance policy and that was all there was to estate planning. 

Communicating personal wishes and choices with family members about caregiving and end-of-life decisions was typically said casually and as a comment in passing; “Should something happen to me, remember all the important papers are in the top drawer of the chest.”

This was my experience with my parent’s estate planning. I thought we were all set. Little did I know that there was much more to consider and that the long dementia journey we traveled could have been less costly: financially, physically, and emotionally. But when we’re in the middle of something you don’t know – you don’t know what you don’t know.

I didn’t know the costs associated with caregiving: nursing homes, in-home care, loss of personal expenses, medical expenses, physical exhaustion, the emotional drain, and final expenses. But I learned.

I learned that early planning, well organized, and done with a professional can turn the end results of losing a loved one from an overwhelmed, exhaustive blur into a beautiful memorialized celebration of their wisdom, their life, and most importantly, their love.

As I stood beside my father’s casket unable to grieve because I was worn out every which way this side of Sunday, I decided to help others have a positive experience. I want others to have a healthy experience, a better experience than I had. 

I set out on a very naïve mission to help other adult children of aging parents and their families examine, plan, organize, and communicate in a healthier way. As I said, I was very naïve but I kept learning. I kept asking questions about how to make this process better and smoother. I learned two very important things that stood out to me. 

Of course, I learned many more things than two, but I want to focus on those two lessons because they are more about emotions than practical, legal things.

People overwhelmingly told me they wished they had recorded the memories, stories and “sayings” of their loved one. Even people who were oftentimes at odds with their loved one, told me they longed for a tangible remembrance of the interactions that were positive.

The other lesson was more about the parent, senior adult, loved one. These folks, also in an overwhelming number repeated, “I don’t want to be a burden!” This common refrain echoes throughout all age groups, all faith systems, all familial roles, and all socio-economic levels. Even narcissistic, emotionally challenged individuals expressed this sentiment. 

I did run into a few individuals who let me, and their families, know that they weren’t going to plan for any end of life eventualities. With a touch of unresolved anger and a splash of venom, these folks told me, “I’ll be dead; they can figure it out.”

But again, most people don’t want to be a burden and most people make at least a minimal amount of arrangements. When I say minimal – I mean they “tell” somebody what they’d prefer happen for the second half and end of their life. 

One’s ability to remember what they were told is not always helpful and often conflicts with what another family was told or remembers.

According to a new Caring.com survey, only 42 percent of U.S. adults currently have estate planning documents such as a will or living trust. For those with children under the age of 18, the figure is even lower, with just 36 percent having an end-of-life plan in place.

“I think many Americans avoid setting up a will because they simply don’t want to think about their death,” says Texas-based financial coach Craig Dacy. “However, setting up a will not only takes care of your loved ones financially, it can save them a lot of emotional stress after you’re gone.”

The study, conducted in January by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, asked 1,003 adults whether they currently have estate-planning documents in case of their death, as well as the reason why not (if applicable).

Forty-seven percent of survey respondents without estate documents said, “I just haven’t gotten around to it.” This is unsurprising to experts, who say an aversion to end-of-life planning is not only rooted in fear but also procrastination.

“This is the ‘I’m going to live forever’ theory. No one literally thinks that, but we all want to believe we are going to live until our 80s or 90s so we don’t think we need a will right now,” says Debbi King, author of “The ABC’s of Personal Finance”. “This isn’t true, of course. We all have an expiration date and no one knows exactly when it will be. The best thing you can do for your loved ones is have a will [Legacy Plan] now.”


With these two emotional lessons I learned about people wanting stories and loved ones not wanting to be a burden, I threw in the statistics of 42 percent of people not having estate documents and viola, The Guardians Gift was born and my mission began.

My Mission is to help individuals and their families gather their stories, all while providing guidance and support so that a Legacy Plan is created. The legacy plan contains the documents of an estate plan as well as information about an individual’s life that would not be found in a “document.”

My Mission is to help provide relief for loved ones; relief from the burden of emotional decision making, undirected caregiving choices, and financial insecurity. 

The Guardian's Gift will provide a loving and peace filled last gift of legacy and wisdom for your family.

This is your gift of love that extends beyond life.

~Dr. Judy H. Butler, PsyD