Pensacola Bridge Debacle

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is a travel enthusiast, empty-nest mom to two young adult children, athlete, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife of almost three decades (to the same wonderful man!), and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. Kristen has been crafting professional estate plans for Floridians and their families for over 28 years.

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With the Pensacola Bay bridge out of commission following Hurricane Sally for an indeterminate period of time, I hopped in my car again last Thursday at O’Dark Thirty to begin my new hour long drive from my home on Pensacola Beach to my office in downtown Pensacola.


Through some trial and error, I’ve discovered that if I leave my house at 5:30am, the commute is only an hour using the alternate Garcon Point bridge route. If I leave at 6:30am, morning traffic is exponentially worse and I’m pushing a 90 minute drive.


Bridge trafficAlthough the longer commute definitely stinks (and coming home is always a wild card in terms of commuting time no matter what time I leave the office), I’m doing my best to keep a positive outlook and not curse the situation too much. After all, life happens.


And the happier we’ll be in our lives when we learn to roll with the punches a bit more. Here’s how I’m attempting to go with the flow.


The positive side of a longer commute is that it provides me more time in the car to catch up on the phone with friends and family.


I’ve started practicing my Spanish lessons again too (I love the Pimsleur language app on my phone!).


I’m also listening to more books on tape.


I’ve rearranged my work schedule so that I’m only coming into the office three days a week and working from home two days a week. With technology and virtual appointment capabilities, I’m just as productive at home as I am in the office.


In an effort to accommodate my Gulf Breeze and fellow Pensacola Beach clients, I’ve started renting the conference room at the Hampton Inn in Gulf Breeze Proper several Friday mornings each month to hold in-person signing appointments. Clients are thrilled they don’t have to fight the Garcon Point bridge traffic just to make their estate plans official.


Additionally, I am very close to nailing down virtual signing options for clients where we don’t have to meet in person at all! This will be a bonus for my housebound, out of town, and full-time travelling clients.


Andrew and Kristen Marks-1Plus, with only heading into town three days a week and never leaving the house on the weekends, Andrew and I are spending more time together. As many locals are attempting to do, we are supporting our devastated local Gulf Breeze and beach businesses by going out to eat a bit more.


Learning to adapt doesn’t just apply to one’s work schedule or travel routes to the office.


We are all better served when we learn to roll with the punches with our families and our estate plans too.


The Estate and Legacy Plan you created several years (or even decades) ago may already be out of touch with your current reality and family and financial circumstances.


Estate planning is not a bucket list item that you can check off the list once you sign your first Will.


Your Estate Plan should be reviewed at least every 3-5 years and updated as necessary after discussion with your estate planning advisor.


Which is why I’ve launched a new Client Maintenance Program so your estate plan always remains current with your ever-evolving life.


For a reasonable annual maintenance fee, you’ll never pay us another consultation fee again, you’ll have priority access to our attorneys, and simple updates to your plan are always FREE.


More detailed or complicated updates, or upgrades to your plan, are deeply discounted.


For our trust clients, we’ll also do an annual asset audit to ensure that your trust is properly funded so that your family will avoid the hassles of probate in the future.


Click here to see all of the benefits of this new program on our website and to enroll.


Although I can’t guarantee that your current plan will always best serve you and your loved ones, I can guarantee that with regular review and updates when needed, your estate plan will always make your plan clear and easy for your loved ones in the future.


Kristen “Specializing in Roll with the Punches Estate Plans” Marks


P.S. Check out the details of our newly launched Client Maintenance Program here.


P.P.S. Shameless plug alert! Many of you met or spoke with my daughter, Jill, when she worked at our office this Summer. Well, she is now back at college finishing her Senior year and is the President of Beat Auburn Beat Hunger, an annual Fall student-run food drive competition between the University of Alabama and Auburn University to see which school can raise the most food and money for the Alabama Food Bank. She would LOVE your support and your donation if you’re able to contribute. Here is the link to her fundraising page. Thanks!


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