Saturday, April 10, 2010

Teaching and Electronic Whiteboards

A lot of what I do in my estate planning practice is teach. A client's Last Will, for example, is her or his legally enforceable expression of what the client wants to happen to the assets that would be subject to that document at the client's death. A Last Will, then, is an expression of the client's intention with respect to the particular "estate" that the Last Will controls. (An "estate" is simply an aggregate of assets that have a feature in common. An " estate" subject to a Last Will is an aggregation of assets that must go through probate proceedings in order to be distributed to a client's beneficiaries at the client's death.)

But usually a client is not exactly sure of what she or he wants to happen at his death. The client may be generally sure, but is rarely exactly sure. What are the issues involved? What are the options available? My job is to inform the client of those issues, those options, and to suggest strategies. This is a teaching job. I find it challenging. But not only that, it is the sweet spot of my work. It is where the joy resides for me. I love to teach.

My favorite way to teach is to have an easel or white board to mark on. I think I do some of my best teaching while I stand up and draw diagrams, lists, maps, circles, squares, arrows going here and there, and so forth. I often will jump up and down from my chair to the white board or easel at a client conference (some of them lasting two hours or more). I think that this activity alone keeps the momentum of the conference going and all of us awake.

I have been looking at "electronic whiteboards." They are expensive, but by way of a Wiki article, I came across a genius whose name is Johnny Chung Lee. Johnny has a way of doing an electronic whiteboard on the cheap. I have embedded one of his YouTube videos.

I would welcome any comments or suggestions as to any of this.

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