Television can be an effective way to reach and educate the public about the benefits of estate planning. However, regular commercial broadcast stations charge a lot of money to advertise. There’s a less expensive option: public access channels.
Do you have a cable television system in your market? Check to see if they offer a public access channel. As part of their community agreement, many cable TV providers must offer at least one channel as a local content distribution avenue. Many also provide the facilities to create programs at little or no cost.
In 2013, I worked with our cable system’s public access facilities in Albuquerque to create A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. The 14-episode television series of 30-minute programs presents expert interviews on everything you need to know about funeral planning before there’s a death in the family. As the host, I bring a light touch to teaching about planning ahead for end-of-life.
Episodes cover topics such as pre-planning a funeral, cremation and memorial services, cemeteries, green burial, life celebrations, pet loss, estate planning, financial planning, managing funeral costs, hospice, grief, and other issues. These are evergreen topics.
After seven years on hiatus, the series is returning to Studio 519 Public Access Channel 27 in Albuquerque starting January 2021. The episode on estate planning features Jim Plitz, attorney with AAEPA member firm Morris Hall, PLLC. The firm, with offices in Arizona and New Mexico, sponsored this episode in the original series and the re-issue in 2021.
This episode of A Good Goodbye TV focuses on the legal and financial issues that every adult needs to address BEFORE there’s a death in the family. Among the questions discussed:
- Who needs to do estate planning?
- What happens when you die with no plans in place?
- What is probate and why do people want to avoid it?
- What “stuff” is part of estate planning?
- Are advance directives and living wills part of estate planning?
- What is a trust and who needs to set one up?
- What should people do at a minimum to put their affairs in order?
You can watch this A Good Goodbye TV episode on Estate Planning on YouTube: https://youtu.be/DTRDvZGw34E
Jim Plitz recorded a new video message which will be included in every episode of the reissued television series. You can see the 30-second message here: https://youtu.be/zDkgJCwecYg
While most public access channels lack Nielsen ratings, people do see the programs that run there. Many times, people have said, “I saw you on television recently!” Take advantage of the exposure local public access channels can offer to help educate the public about estate planning issues and your firm.
Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®, is a pioneering death educator. She uses humor, funny film clips, and outside-the-box activities to teach about planning ahead for end-of-life. She coordinates the award-winning Before I Die New Mexico Festival, and Albuquerque Business First recognized her with their 2019 Women of Influence Award. She’s also the author of three books on end-of-life issues and a Certified Funeral Celebrant. Her website is www.AGoodGoodbye.com.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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