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Foundation of FirstHealth Series to Focus on “Life Planning”

| Date Posted: 8/7/2013

PINEHURST – There is a certain “conversation” that no one is eager to be a part of, but counselor and author Mary Sotile believes it is one of the most important discussions a family can ever have.

Wayne and Mary Sotile

Wayne and Mary Sotile

“It refers to clearly and lovingly sharing information with the people in your life about what is of true and authentic value to you and how you want to direct your material resources – before and after your death – toward those values,” says Sotile, a frequent commentator on issues related to life planning.

Sotile and her husband, Dr. Wayne Sotile, will be featured in the first of two programs in the “Don’t Leave Your Life’s Work to Chance” life-planning series hosted by The Foundation of FirstHealth in September. Their session will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4, in the Ballroom of the Country Club of North Carolina, and will include a question-and-answer session followed by lunch.

Deborah L. Jacobs

Deborah L. Jacobs

The second program in the series, on Wednesday, Sept. 18, also at CCNC at 10 a.m., will feature lawyer and award-winning journalist Deborah L. Jacobs, who specializes in legal topics.

According to Mary Sotile, there are two reasons for having a life-planning discussion early: Because the process itself will be “meaningful and growth-ful” for the person initiating the conversation and because of its value as a “bonding experience.”

“There are no perfect families,” Sotile says. “Despite our good intentions, every family has some internal dramas or miscommunications. Because of the complexity of family relationships, without clear direction in a time of grief and loss, some negative family dynamics (unresolved hurts, competition among family members, perceived lack of fairness) may take over what should otherwise be a celebration of the departed loved one and a continuation of that person’s legacy.”

During their upcoming presentation, the Sotiles will focus on life planning as “more than the allocation of material resources” and on how the estate represents the “authentic you through time.”

“People who do this early – and even begin the giving early – have the unique experience of seeing their legacy at work where it means the most to them – in their own community,” Sotile says.

Wayne and Mary Sotile co-direct Sotile Psychological Associates and Real Talk Inc. in Winston-Salem. Wayne Sotile also serves as the director of psychological services for the
Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute’s Center for Cardiovascular Health at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

The Sotiles’ columns on balancing work and family have been published in 50 countries, and their work is frequently featured in the international print media and on national television. They are authors of nine books including “Thriving with Heart Disease” and “Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back.”  They are also featured columnists in the American Medical Association Alliance publications Horizon and The Alliance Today.

Deborah Jacobs, who will lead the second session in the Foundation series, has written a best-selling book called “Estate Planning Smarts,” in which she draws on more than a decade of writing about the stressful issues that surround life planning. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, BusinessWeek and many other publications.

She is currently a senior editor at Forbes, where she writes a popular blog about personal finance for Baby Boomers.

As the catalyst for the philanthropy that has led FirstHealth of the Carolinas to become one of the finest health care systems in the nation, The Foundation of FirstHealth is dedicated to providing educational opportunities for the community as they relate to health and well-being. Anyone interested in attending one or both of the upcoming sessions on life planning should call The Foundation of FirstHealth at (910) 695-7510 or email by Aug. 30.

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