Tunnel Vision

One of my favorite podcasts, Hidden Brain: Tunnel Vision, described the phenomenon of tunnel vision and offered ideas on how we can defend against it. The host, Shankar Vendantam, explained that when we experience scarcity of time, money, sleep or other resources, we can become hyper-focused on bridging that gap, causing us to strive for a narrow, short-term, and often insignificant, goal. As we hear in the podcast, simple mistakes, when made in the context of a stressful situation, can gather speed and set off a cascade of disastrous events.

Plan Before the Storm. When a loved one experiences an emergency, becomes incapacitated or dies, many decisions must be made immediately. This can lead to the tunnel vision trap. Caregivers and family members may feel emotionally, mentally and physically overwhelmed. All too often this pressure leads to arguments and resentment among siblings and other family members. An estate plan can help relieve that tension. It is why so many adult children describe their parent’s estate plan as a welcome gift. When people make incapacity and end- of-life decisions in advance, it frees their loved ones to do what matters most like spending time with an ill parent or grieving with siblings.

How to Get Started. Most of us know that we should have an estate plan but it is so easy to put it off. Many people choose to start or review their estate plan during a preset time of year, like following your employer’s benefits open enrollment period, right after filing taxes, or your birthday.

If you don’t have an estate plan or if it has been a few years, I welcome the opportunity to speak to you about how I may be able to help your and your family reach peace of mind. You can contact me here.

Remember, this information is provided for general education and entertainment purposes. I have not considered your individual circumstances. You should consult with your own attorney regarding your unique circumstances.

Photo of tunnel with woman in red dress credit: Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com