Individual mission: Empowering Conscious Vision
Five essential values: Integrity. Community. Responsibility. Humor/joy/fun. Physical well-being.
Credo: / I am a force for positive change in the world // I am a space in which people are returned to themselves // I enjoy what it means to be in a body and I celebrate that experience // I grow ever more skilled in conscious creation and rely ever less on unconscious reaction // I am responsible for and with the gifts, talents, and blessings I’ve been given // I am trust worthy // I am a work in progress /
Short Story: My primary career has been as an attorney, though even there, I had two careers.
The first was in the entertainment and publishing industries. I co-authored the ACLU’s book The Rights of Authors, Artists & Other Creative People, which went thru 3 printings and 2 publishers. During the AIDS crisis, when I was raising money for various service and health care organizations, I became interested in planned giving—helping people support the causes they cared most about while saving on taxes seemed to me a very good game to play. I realized that I needed to develop expertise relatively quickly, so I earned a masters degree in estate planning. I then recast my practice to focus on estate planning for LGBT individuals and couples, and planning involving charitable giving, and I wrote and lectured across the United States on both subjects.
Seeing that my own experience working with charitably inclined clients was born out by research, I created the Advisors Project as a means of encouraging other attorneys and advisors to talk to their clients about values, about what mattered most to their clients. In terms of charitable planning, I’d found that resonated far more with most clients than the customary conversations about possible tax benefits. Advisors Project programs received continuing education credits for lawyers, financial advisors, accountants and other professionals, unusual for a non-technical program!
Planning with clients around their values and ambitions, I often found myself talking to clients about more than just their legal concerns. Recognizing that the encouragement towards manifestation I was doing was the stuff of coaching, I was trained as a life coach, earning both a degree and certification. As a life coach, my practice, Now What’s Next?, focused on the non-financial aspects of retirement—”Just what are you going to do with that next chapter?”
Throughout, I’ve been involved in my community—principally, the GLBT community—and have been proud and grateful to have witnessed and participated in the extraordinary journey we’ve taken over the last 50 years. To have shared in and helped shape our journey from Stonewall’s stand thru the dark ages of AIDS to the promised land of marriage equality has been an amazing privilege.
I now have a dream job, one that uses many of my skills and experiences as estate planning lawyer, life coach, and community activist. I work for SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) as Director of Legacy Planning. In this position, I run the organization’s planned giving program as well as spearhead its Aging Well Initiative.
I’m married to the fabulously talented interior designer and fine artist, Mark Kirby, and Buster the wonder dog is our adopted child.