Michigan Estate Planning Attorney and Advisor Christopher Berry Gives Some Tips for “Scary Times”

Michigan Estate Planning Attorney and Advisor Christopher J. Berry of Castle Wealth Group (www.MichiganEstatePlanning.com, gives 10 tips for dealing with “Scary Times” and Market Volatility. He shares these tips from Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach. Now is not a time to panic, but to look for opportunities. There are certain legal, financial and tax planning strategies that can be taken to put your family in the best position possible coming out of the turmoil caused by the virus pandemic.

Things to think about:
1) Having your financial and medical power of attorney in place.
2) Opportunities with the market volatility
3) Roth conversions as the market tumbles, capturing an upside in a tax free environment.


Estate Attorney and Advisor Chris Berry of Castle Wealth Group answers questions on retirement and estate planning every Wednesday at 1pm. Register via thisĀ linkĀ or give our office a call at 844-885-4200.

Castle Wealth Group and Christopher Berry help families with estate planning, elder law, retirement planning, and tax planning from their offices in Brighton, Ann Arbor, Livonia, Bloomfield Hills, and Novi.

Castle Wealth Group helps families with their legal, financial, and tax planning for their retirement and legacy.

With the use of legal structures like revocable living trusts, Castle Trusts (asset protection trusts), Chris Berry and Castle Wealth Group can help your family plan, protect, and preserve what is important through their Retirement and Legacy Blueprint Process.


For more info visit:


Episode Transcript

Focus on Others

Hey, this is Chris Berry with another Berry’s Bites. Today, what I want to talk about is just the times we’re going through right now. It is some scary times with everything that’s going on in the world. One of my mentors, a business coach that I’ve worked with in the past, Dan Sullivan, he put together, what do you call it, the Scary Times Success Manual. I thought I’d share some pieces of that today because it is scary times that we’re all going through. He laid out a couple just items to keep in mind. One of the first things before I get into that, so I just want to say that we’re still here for you. We’re still supporting your legal, financial and tax planning. We’ve had to change some of our systems to go more virtual, do more video conferencing, but we’re still getting work done and we’re watching things for you.

So with that, I just wanted to share some of the items. The first thing he recommends is to forget about yourself and focus on others. I think this is important as everyone’s a little bit scared and it’s easy to kind of go inward, but a good way to keep sane and keep that positive attitude is to focus on helping others. That’s what we’re trying to do. Our firm, we’re in service to our clients and it’s rewarding work that we do and continue to do even through these scary times. The second thing is forget about commodities, focus on relationships. I think if there’s a silver lining that anyone can take from this is that it’s strengthening a lot of the relationships with family, as well as with friends, where, again, if you’re not focusing on yourself, you’re reaching out to others.


Focus On Value

Third, focus on creating value. That’s what we’re always trying to do is create value for our clients, for our families. We’re trying to improve their position. You’ve worked hard to accumulate whatever it is you have. Our job is to put together a plan to protect that and preserve that. Fourth, and this goes for everyone, including if you look at what’s going on in the market, forget about your losses, focus on your opportunities. So whether you look at the market or maybe you had travel plans, you can’t control that. What we can control are the opportunities. There’s certainly some strategic opportunities that are available in terms of tax planning, as well as with the market volatility that we’re experiencing. There’s some opportunities there. Some things we could look at would be Roth conversions during this time to capture the upside of the market.

Next, forget about difficulties, focus on your progress. So we’re all going through different struggles right now, whether it’s figuring out homeschooling. I have a nine and seven year old. Figuring out ways to get things done, because unfortunately, even if things are slowing or shutting down, life doesn’t stop. I had a call from a client to say, “Mom had a stroke the other day.” Well, there’s still things that we have to have in place for that to be able to make medical decisions, having those medical powers of attorney in place. We still need to have those things in place. So we’re all going through difficulties, but focus on your progress, understand that it’s kind of a different world now, at least for the time being, and not to focus on what you’ve lost or your difficulties, but focus on what are the positive things that are coming through this.

Next thing is forget about the “future”, focus on today. So in all of our minds, we had a vision of what the future was going to hold and that might have to change now. We have to focus on what can we do today? What are the things that we can do today to put our future or create the best future possible for us? Understand that the future we had previously may look different than the future that we can create for ourselves now. So understand that there has been a change and that may change what your future was previously, but we can’t control the future. We can’t control the past. All we can do is focus on what can we do today. Forget about who you were, focus on who you can be.


Take Control

So again, this is the idea of we can’t control the past. We can’t control the events. We can only control what we’re doing today. Focusing on the here and now, what is the next best action that we can take to put ourselves in the best position? Is that reaching out to a family member? Is that certain moves with regards to your portfolio? Is that focusing on, hey, you know what, this is a little bit of a scary time. Maybe now I need to create my own rule book, create that legal rule book, create those financial and medical powers of attorney. Because if something were to happen, you get a knock in your head, guess what, courts are slowing down even. Where if you were to try to get a guardianship for someone, you wouldn’t be able to do that right now potentially, depending on the court system.

The big one, the next one, number eight, forget about events, focus on your responses. This is probably the biggest thing if I could share anything today is we can’t control what’s going out there in the world. All we can control is how we act and how we respond to it. That’s something that is good advice during any time, especially right now. So if you are having any type of interactions with individuals, understand we’re all going through something right now. We’re going through change and change can be scary, but we’re here for you. Whether you want to have a phone call, we can certainly do that. We can have a virtual conference through technology, we can certainly do that. So we’re here for you. Forget about what’s missing, focus on what’s available. So as things change, resources change. If you were to focus on what you can’t have, it’s going to make you very unhappy. But focus on what’s available, focus on what you can do versus what you can do.



The biggest one, number 10, forget about your complaints, focus on gratitude. We’re all going through something. Myself, as a business owner, we’re having to kind of rework some of our processes in this environment. With regards to our clients, obviously the market is very volatile right now, and we’re having conversations with regards to what is the best next step. By trying to not focus on the downside, but focus on the opportunities, hopefully that gives you a little bit of a peace of mind because we still need to keep our brains here. We needed to stay logical. We can’t operate from emotion. That’s really what we’re trying to do here is keep level heads, understand that there are opportunities, there are actions that we should be taking right now.

It is a scary time, but we can’t be paralyzed by that fear because life still happens. Like I said, health events happen, strokes happen. We’re going to come out of this and we need to make sure that you as a client are in the best position possible coming out of this. So there’s different things that we can look at doing right now. So I just want to reach out and say we’re here for you. If you do have questions, we’re available via email. You can give us a call and we can set up a time to review your situation. I think of us as kind of that warm, cozy blanket in a scary time. This has been Chris Berry with Berry’s Bites. Look forward to talking to you. Whether it’s over the phone or through a web conference, we’re here for you. Also, we do have some webinars, educational webinars that you can watch from the comfort of your home right now. So with that, it’s been Chris Berry. Take care.



Castle Wealth Group Legal in Media

Send Us a Message