My 20th High School Reunion: Proof that some things really do improve with age

Amanda Lynch Elliott

by Amanda Lynch Elliott

Amanda Lynch Elliott is a native of Pensacola and an attorney with My Pink Lawyer®. Amanda and her husband are parents of two young daughters. Amanda enjoys running, yoga and paddle boarding, and has a twin sister.

“Do you remember when Chris flipped his car leaving my house?”


“What about the time Kim accidentally set Morgan’s house on fire?”


“That bonfire when the cops showed up and we all jumped in the creek was wild.”


“Remember when Nick popped a wheely on the 4-wheeler and flipped you into waist-deep mud?”


Ladies and gentlemen: the stories you are about to hear are true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.


I attended my 20th high school reunion this weekend, and the above are just a few of the hysterically appalling stories that were recounted.


Picture11I had so much fun catching up with old friends some of whom I’ve known for 30+ years now, and many that I’ve lost touch with over time.


We updated each other about our lives now, shared stories about teachers and our school, remembered classmates that are no longer with us, but mostly laughed about all of the unbelievable stuff we did.


Man, we were dumb.


I mean we chose “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd as our class song for crying out loud.


I blame our poor decisions on the fact that we grew up in a really small town.


Believe it or not, there was a time when there was a single stoplight on Highway 90 through Pace.


I graduated from Pace High School in 2004, when the most exciting thing about Pace was the gas station on the corner of Chumuckla Highway and Woodbine Road, lovingly referred to as “Five Points.”


And so, we were forced to come up with our own creative outlets for all our teenaged energy.


We had a lot of energy.


And let me tell you, it was so fun. But it wasn’t pretty or smart.


I look back at some of the decisions I made with horror, and I can’t help but wonder, will I feel the same way about the decisions I am making now in another 20-years?


I feel like time and life experiences have given me the perspective needed to ensure that answer is, “No” moving forward… or at least a quieter, milder “Maybe not.”


However, one can only wonder.


The same goes with estate planning.


We have clients that return to us with drastically different goals than when they originally planned.


Sometimes the passage of time is the only thing that has changed – children have gotten older and the need to ensure that they were taken care of as minors has passed. Or maybe people that were initially named in various roles are no longer the appropriate choice to serve in that role.


Other times life has changed their priorities.


Maybe a client now owns property in multiple states or has changed the beneficiaries they are naming all together.


Regardless of the reasoning behind the change, it’s important to note that as time goes on our objectives will shift. It’s just the nature of life and estate planning.


Where protecting children and establishing trusts for their benefit may once have been the goal, probate avoidance and streamlining the administration of our estate may become the priority in the future.


And so, we use the decisions that we’ve already made to build on and make better decisions moving forward. Or at least that’s the goal.


We audit the choices we’ve made as we go, and we adjust as needed.


Here are a few life events that typically warrant an update to your estate plan:


  • Birth of a child;
  • Death of a loved one or someone named in your documents;
  • Marriage;
  • Divorce;
  • Change in financial situation;
  • Change in family circumstances;
  • Purchasing real property (especially if it’s in another state);
  • Relocation;
  • Change in tax laws;
  • Business ownership or succession planning;
  • Changes in healthcare wishes; and
  • More!


Like life, estate planning doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The team at My Pink Lawyer® reaches out to our clients every 3-years to schedule a review appointment, or once per year for our Client Care Program Members.[1]


Maybe you’re one of few who’s always made phenomenal decisions and whose priorities never shift, but I’d say that’s extremely unlikely for most of us.


So here’s to having fun and learning lessons along the way.


…And to really, really hoping my kids make better choices than me.


Amanda “Just a Small Town Girl” Lynch Elliott





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