“Most Terrifying Experience of My Life”

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by Matthew Boyle, Katy Song Financial Planning Summer Intern 2023

It happened in the early morning. My dad got up with what he thought was heart burn, returned to bed, and then was unconscious. My mom called 911, started CPR, and the police arrived first in under five minutes. The ambulance and fire service shortly after. They were at Marin general in 17 mins, where doctors inserted stent. It was a heart attack. He had no prior indicators. It was an immediate blockage of  Left anterior descending artery, also known as a widow maker.

For my mom, it was the most terrifying experience of her life. It was December 2020, COVID, and Marin General was in lockdown. The vaccine had just been tested and health professionals were starting to get vaccinated. The emergency part of the event is known as “chain of survival”. Everyone involved did their very best at fast-pace to get the best possible outcome my dad. The ICU was a rollercoaster, involving consultants in cardiology, neurology, acute trauma, and even infectious disease experts. It was not until 96 hours later that the doctors had confidence that my dad was on a path to recovery. He finally came off life-support (ventilator) 6 days after the event – the physical therapist had him up and walking on day 7 in the ICU.  It was a miracle, and my family is very fortunate.

This event was the catalyst that forced my parents to finally act and put their estate plan in place. It had been on their To Do list for years. They have assets in the US and the UK, so they had to deal with figuring out how to appease both governments, pay the least amount in taxes and make sure me and my brother would be okay.

Still on the To Do List is explaining to me and my younger brother where everything is and what it all means. This isn’t a normal conversation to have with two teenage boys, but they know it needs to happen for all our benefit.

This story is meant to convince you that now is the time to do your estate plan and to talk to your family about your plan and learn about theirs. If you have children and own any property, an estate plan is critical to making sure that you avoid probate and make your wishes known.

Katy Song Financial Planning is offering access to do your estate plan for FREE. To claim this offer, email Katy Song at The first five people to respond to this email, will get access to free estate planning through The next five respondents will pay $250 for access, and then next five $500 for access. The typical cost of an estate plan is ~$3,500.  Click here to learn more about estate planning.

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