How Amy Schumer’s Openness on Trichotillomania Made Me Inject Purpose into My Estate Plan – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

As an estate planning attorney by trade, there was never really a question over whether or not I’d take the time to do my own estate plan. At the same time, however, early adulthood for me was not a time of deep contemplation surrounding my own mortality or the legacy I sought to leave behind someday. 

Admittedly, I rushed it a bit when creating my estate plan. I went through the motions to check the box. But in recent years, after getting married, buying a home and becoming a mother, I began to think more about my eventual legacy. I wished for my estate plan to hold deep meaning and purpose. Of course, the fact that I left private practice to join a social enterprise that links estate planning to charitable giving probably played a role, too. 

The only barrier? I’m a busy person. I wanted to be thoughtful. But I never seemed to get around to holding that internal dialogue about what causes were most near and dear to me. 

Amy Schumer’s Story Spoke to Me

Ultimately, my inspiration came recently from an unexpected source: Amy Schumer. In March, in an interview surrounding the release of her new Hulu TV series, Life & Beth, Schumer opened up about her lifelong struggle with trichotillomania – an impulse disorder best described as irresistible urges to pull out your hair. 

She spoke of the shame she carried throughout her life surrounding her struggles with trichotillomania, and she even shared that there had been a time when she pulled out so much of her hair that she needed to wear a wig at school, concealing very little. At the end of an episode relating to Schumer’s experience with trichotillomania, Hulu told viewers that if they knew any sufferers, they could turn to the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors. There was my catalyst.

As a lifelong sufferer of trichotillomania myself, this struck a chord with me. At points, I’d tried to hide it; at other times it was simply too much to hide, and bewildered friends and classmates as early as elementary school would ask if I was sick. I admired Amy Schumer for having the courage to come forward as a rare public face for a disorder that affects 15 million Americans to varying degrees, but all too often is willfully hidden and goes unaddressed. I also admired Hulu for being thoughtful enough to be action-oriented by directing viewers to outlets for support. 

Schumer speaking up proved to be the spark I needed to go back and update my own estate plan by infusing it with purpose to make sure that helping other sufferers of trichotillomania became part …….


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