About a year before his death in 2017, Dennis Belcher, past president of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, delivered a lecture entitled, “Do We Need a Canary or Did the Canary Stop Singing and We Missed It?” Dennis compared the estate-planning practice to the rigors of coal mining. Miners used a yellow canary to warn them of lethal gases. If the canary stopped singing, it signaled danger, and the miners needed to respond immediately or risk losing their lives.
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