“When I first heard about a living trust,” says Vickie, “I thought, like many people, that a trust was for the wealthy and estate planning was for seniors.” As she learned more, she became convinced that people of all ages need to know this information. She began to ask questions and then to write about living trusts. A former regional head of communications for a major employee benefits consulting firm, Vickie was already an award-winning writer, nationally recognized for her abilities to communicate “legalese” in accurate, understandable English.
In 1988, she proudly finished the first edition of the book—and was promptly rejected by more than 20 publishers, all of whom didn’t think there was an audience for this information. But Vickie believed in it enough to self-publish, an unusual move at the time. The rest has been nothing short of remarkable. The first edition sold more than 50,000 copies. With subsequent editions, that figure is now approaching 400,000, with the book selling well to both consumers and professionals, who use it to educate their clients and staff.
The success of “Understanding Living Trusts®” led to Vickie being a frequent guest on radio/TV talk shows and keynote speaker at standing-room-only seminars. She has received praise in “Modern Maturity” and other publications. She is also the creator of a line of brochures, special reports, presentations and website content used by thousands of attorneys, banks, and financial professionals nationwide. In 2016, she launched all-new brochures and website content for estate planning professionals.
For those who have followed Vickie and her family over the years, here is a brief update. Both sons are grown and out of college. James (JJ) is a Captain in the U.S. Army, a Black Hawk helicopter pilot and a Company Commander. He has served two deployments in Afghanistan. Charlie is an Investor Relations Analyst in Newport Beach, CA. In 2008, Vickie married Tom, a contractor, and gained his two grown children: Olivia, a city planner, and Bruce, an architect. Olivia added the first granddaughter in 2014 and the second in 2016.
“I am older now and, hopefully, wiser,” she says. “I know firsthand about being a business owner, being divorced and a single parent, caring for aging parents, and blended families—life experiences and concerns that I share with many of my readers. It all adds to my perspective and, I think, makes me a better writer.”
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