How Having a Strong Network can Make all the Difference

By Tina Dam, PLAN

As a Mentor at PLAN I keep in touch with all of our networks—in particular with key organizers, family members and friends. I like to check in with everyone every few months, to see how things are going and provide any necessary support. With every round of phone calls, I get a lovely gem that makes my day and keeps me doing this work. Work that is difficult somedays but I truly love.

 One of these gems happened just last week when I was catching up with Jan, who had become the main contact for Joe’s network after his parents passed away. (Not their real names) Jan admitted to me that she had never quite understood this whole “network” thing and its importance—that is until Joe’s mother died last year and there were issues with her Will.

The family had done all the right things. Both parents had completed their Wills, they established a Trust for Joe and set up a Representation Agreement with people they trusted.

However, after the funeral came and went and life was was getting back to normal, the network realized much more money had been spent on Joe’s mom’s healthcare in the last few years than was expected. As a result, her estate was a great deal smaller than planned. In the Will, several organizations had been promised a certain amount of money. Now with a smaller estate, however, those amounts put Joe’s financial future in jeopardy.

The Executor of the Will went to these organizations to ask if they would be willing to not receive the promised funds. Some agreed but others did not. The situation still didn’t look good for Joe.

It so happens there was a lawyer on the Network, and he agreed to write some letters to these organizations. Long story short, it was eventually all resolved and Joe was able to receive an adequate inheritance, but it ended up taking the lawyer much more time than just writing a few letters. Jan realized the lawyer would have written those letters simply because he knew the family, but he might have stopped there. Instead he went well above and beyond, at no charge, and the reason was because he had a relationship with Joe. He knew Joe, liked Joe, and knew how not having the right amount of funds would effect Joe’s future.

And that is why Joe’s family came to PLAN—to give him every chance for a good life.


Tina Dam
Mentor of Social Networks
PLAN & Plan Institute
# 260 – 3665 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC, V5R 5W2