You Can Have Too Much of a Good Thing

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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“Thank you. You can never have too many Lazy Susans!”


So replied one of my mom’s movers when she offered him to take one of her hefty Lazy Susans after it was unloaded from the moving truck.


My mom’s 1,000 mile move across country from Northern Virginia to Pensacola was uneventful, albeit a whirlwind of precise choreographed activities.


Friday: Big ass moving truck arrives and loads up my mom’s furniture (over 150 boxes plus furniture!)


Saturday morning: Housecleaners arrive and car transport picked up my mom’s car.


Saturday afternoon: We started our drive in a rented minivan with a senior Golden Retriever and three cats.


Sunday: A final ten hour drive to Pensacola. Car transport delivers my mom’s car.


Wednesday: Big ass moving truck arrives and offloads my mom’s boxes & furniture, most of which ends up in the double car garage.


During the big unload, my mom commented as much to herself and to me, “I’m kind of embarrassed by how much stuff I have. I have enough stuff to furnish two more households.”


I won’t call my mom a hoarder. At least not in the tv reality show definition of the word. I prefer to label my mom an “over-preparer.”


Moving truckYou see, Mama Terry has duplicates (sometimes triplicates) of many big ticket items: lawn mowers, outdoor grills, generators, ladders, every tool imaginable. Even an extendable tree trimmer.


After all, you never know when something might break and you need to use it IMMEDIATELY. A spare (or two) is always handy.


But downsizing to a new home with half the square footage, my mom recognizes that not only won’t everything fit into her new home, but more importantly, she doesn’t need everything she has.


I, on the other hand, err on the side of simplicity. If I don’t use something regularly, out it goes. (My parents each wonder where in the world I inherited this tendency since it doesn’t run on either side of the family.)


This philosophy carries over into my estate planning recommendations to clients.


I tend to custom craft estate plans for clients that are as simple as possible without sacrificing function.


“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein

This philosophy runs counter to some lawyers who offer free dinner seminars that try to sell all clients a living trust.


Don’t get me wrong. I recommend and prepare living trusts for lots of clients because they make sense for their situation.


However, living trusts are overkill for many other clients and we never recommend an estate planning tool that’s more “complicated” than necessary to accomplish the same result.


Click here to schedule your initial estate planning consultation with My Pink Lawyer®.


So, the unpacking at my mom’s house continues. It will likely take another six months. She is already planning many trips to the local Goodwill and posting bigger ticket items online to sell.


With Andrew’s encouragement, I am biting my tongue. After all, old habits die hard and frankly, this move was big for my mom and having “her stuff” around is comforting.


At least she agreed to let me have some semblance of control over the guest room and bath since I will be staying with her a couple nights weekly to avoid the now hour-long commute to the office. After all, we don’t need 12 sets of guest towels!


And no, dear mover, you CAN have too many Lazy Susans. I’m glad you took away one of them.


Kristen “Self-Made Minimalist in the Making” Marks


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P.S. My Pink Lawyer® offers clients both virtual and in-person initial estate planning consultations. Signing appointments (which must still be done in-person) are offered in both our Pensacola office and in Gulf Breeze Proper upon request.


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