September 2020
Lawyers With Purpose Insights

In This Issue

Start Your Day Off Right!

Veterans Affairs: Alternate Signer Certification Form

LWP Member Henry Carpenter Earns Excellence in Elder Law Award

Upcoming Events

happy woman stretches and opens the curtains at window in morning

Start Your Day Off Right!


By Phil Miner, LWP Practice Coach

Over the last few months, we discussed how to avoid both—living in the "Gap" and creating and making up "Stuff." We've also discussed the importance of being very clear on goals, reporting with focusers, and being careful not to misinterpret or give unnecessary meaning to something by avoiding that lightning-speed habitual reaction. Many people have asked me how to make changes and stay conscious of this behavior. I tell them the answer lies in how you start your day.


How you wake up in the morning can dictate how the rest of your day will go. I have gained some real insight into successful morning routines through reading and through teachings from Tony Robbins, Nick Unsworth - CEO of Life on Fire, Paula Friedland, Richard Branson,,, and other resources. This is for you even if you say, "I am not a morning person." Some of the most successful people across various industries have established a strict morning routine to help maximize their energy and productivity throughout the day, staying conscious of their thoughts and behaviors. Productive days don't happen by accident.


Here are a few things to consider for your morning routine:

  • Start the night before by going to bed at a proper time, ensuring you get a good night's sleep. If you feel like you need to stay up late, ask yourself why. Search Google for some good sleep habits like limiting your caffeine intake and avoiding the brightness of your phone, tablet, or laptop before bedtime, as it is known to negatively affect your body's sleep patterns. That means no last-minute emails or social media intake, but it's fine to take that time to read a book to help yourself fall asleep.
  • Wake up earlier, an early-morning routine that is powerful because it allows you to have time to yourself. It is quiet, with fewer people vying for your attention. It starts with flipping on the light switches and not hitting the snooze button. The light signals to your brain that it's time to get up and to your body to stop producing melatonin. The snooze button is not your friend. It interrupts the normal sleep cycle and can make you feel more tired, causing you to drag your feet all day long. Many successful CEOs start their morning before 6:00 AM.
  • Give yourself 90-minutes to focus without external distractions. Put off texting, social media, and emails. Make time for yourself. This may be the most important routine, taking time to be alone, for reflection and self-awareness. Read something positive, listen to a favorite podcast, or review empowering quotes. I enjoy time reading the Bible or listening to a favorite pastor, while others just meditate. Take this time to do something you enjoy and that will recharge your motivation. Awareness is a core value of LWP, and successful people are aware of their environment, other people's behavior, and their own behavior. A routine like this can go a long way toward helping to change bad habitual patterns and misinterpreting things that happen or that are said throughout the day.
  • Prioritize your day identifying your top 3 priorities, just like you see on the LWP Daily Focuser. Look at your calendar; most successful people start with the most important work, getting it done in the morning while they are full of energy and will power. I also read that Steve Jobs started his morning off with a question. While looking in the mirror he'd ask himself "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" Make sure your plan for the day is consistent with your goals and aspirations.
  • Get moving! Stretching, exercise, and moving your muscles will make a satisfying start to your day. Some people may start with stretching, and some may take an early morning walk or run, while others enjoy an invigorating morning workout like cross fit or weight lifting. This is not only great for your health; it can also lead to being more productive and stronger, and it can bring increased longevity. I read that "Health is wealth." A healthy mind and body go together, and understanding the value of your health will give importance to you and help you succeed at the highest levels.
  • Centering on gratitude, another one of our core values at LWP, is also a big part of many morning routines. It is a powerful way to put things into perspective. As soon as you wake up each day, acknowledge at least 3 things for which you are thankful. Having a positive outlook can make all the difference in your day. It is difficult to have a bad day if you are in a state of gratitude. Even Tony Robbins starts his day by saying out loud those things for which he is grateful. This is also a great way to avoid the trap of living in the "Gap!"
  • Eating a healthy breakfast will provide your body energy. There is a reason that people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What you eat for breakfast helps determine what you will eat throughout the day. If you start out with a healthy breakfast, you will most likely maintain that trend throughout the day.

Are you already telling yourself you can't do this, or do you believe you are stretched too thin already? It's difficult to make any change, so understand why having a morning routine should be important to you. The return on investment is too great to ignore! When you are energetic, focused, and happy, it does wonders for your business. Those who have a consistent morning routine tend to procrastinate less compared to those who stay up late. People who wake up early in the morning tend to be less stressed, more focused, and prepared for their day. If you take control of your first waking moments, you will likely see a day that is in control, which prevents others from dictating your priorities.


Remember that how you start your day affects every single part of your life. It keeps you focused and aware, helping you better utilize skills that will keep you out of the "Gap" and that will prevent you from making up "Stuff." It all takes self-control and discipline. I read that if you win in the morning, no one will be able to stop you from winning in life. What is your morning going to look like?

Veterans Affairs: Alternate Signer Certification Form

American flag


The general rule for the Veterans Administration (VA) when it comes to individuals receiving benefits is that the applicant (Veteran or widow(er)) for the benefit must actually sign the forms being submitted. This is true regardless of who is applying. In the past, when applicants were unable to sign their name, we would instead have them make an "X" and have two witnesses sign an affidavit saying they saw the applicant make the mark.

But what happens when the applicant is completely unable to sign or make a mark? What about the applicant to whom you cannot gain access because of a lockdown of a nursing home or assisted living facility due to COVID-19? This can be extremely frustrating when you know the applicant is not going to receive the benefit, but you are still required to do the application because of the Medicaid rules in your state.

Fear not! We have a solution! The VA has a form - VA Form 21-0972 - Alternate Signer Certification, which can be used in just such a situation. You might not have heard of this form before because it was not widely used. Now, with the lockdown of facilities, it has become more prevalent and can be very useful when filing an application for a benefit.


What's even better: It is not just for the VA Pension benefit, either! It can also be used for many other VA benefits such as disability compensation, intent to file, appeals, and, of course, the pension itself. A complete list of the benefits for which VA Form 21-0972 can be used can be found on page 1 of the form.

As always, if you have questions about this form or any other VA forms, feel free to utilize the Help Desk; the link can be found on the left-hand side of the member website!

LWP Member Henry Carpenter Earns
Excellence in Elder Law Award

Attorney Henry Carpenter posing in front of bookcase

On behalf of our entire Lawyers With Purpose community, the LWP team congratulates member attorney, Henry A. Carpenter II, Founder of Bucks County Elder Law, for earning the prestigious 2020 "Excellence in Elder Law Award" from the Elder Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

The Excellence in Elder Law Award honors an attorney who has made superior professional efforts in the field of Elder Law; made significant contributions to the Elder Law Bar (including the education of fellow attorneys); and provided noteworthy service to the elderly.

"I am honored and humbled to have received this year's Excellence in Elder Law Award," said Carpenter. "It's a wonderful feeling to have one's efforts acknowledged by your peers."

Carpenter recently completed his term as Chairman of the Elder Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and will continue as an Emeritus member of the Section Council. He has been a member of the Elder Law Section's leadership group, the Elder Law Council, for more than 10 years. In addition, Carpenter has been recognized as one of the top 3% of Elder Law Attorneys in the United States by Super Lawyers, named a top Elder Law Attorney by Philadelphia Magazine, and he has achieved Super Lawyer status.

A Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) with an LL.M in Taxation and 35 years of experience, Carpenter is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), and the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association. Carpenter is a frequently published author and sought-after speaker, and hosts the radio show Senior Legal Strategies on WBCB, 1490 AM.

Well done, Henry!

Upcoming Events

Weekly Member Calls

Weekly member calls are scheduled for the first four Wednesdays of each month.

Each week you will hear from a different LWP team member about a topic within their area of expertise, with discussion topics rotating among:

  • Legal/Technical, hosted by Brittney Shearin, Esq.
  • Coaching & Implementation, hosted by LWP Coach, Phil Miner
  • Conversation with Dave Zumpano
  • Marketing, hosted by SmartMarketing strategist, Lisa Roser

The registration page shows dates for consecutive legal/technical-related calls, but you only have to register once; by registering using the link below, we'll make sure you're registered for each weekly call, and you can join the ones you can!

Register Here

The Rules of Medicaid Planning

Live Webinar, Presented by David Zumpano & Hosted by Clear Law Institute

Smiling young African female entrepreneur working on a laptop while sitting at a table in her home office

Thursday, September 17, 2020
1pm – 2:30pm EST

(Watch anytime at your convenience for up to 12 months.)

$99 / person

Attendees can register and receive a 35% discount by using the promo code: DZumpano301249

In this practical webinar, you will explore ways in which you can get your clients qualified for Medicaid in less than 60 months, as well as how to protect up to 80% of your client's assets immediately, and without the use of annuities. You will also discuss the 12 key terms and 6 key factors that pertain to Medicaid planning in all 50 states.

Upon course completion, you will be able to:

  • Identify the 12 key terms and 6 key factors that make up Medicaid planning
  • Create the "blue sheet" to identify Medicaid rules for each state
  • Qualify clients for Medicaid in less than 60 months
  • Anticipate income and asset limits, as well as how they'll affect eligibility
  • Identify exemptions provided by the government
  • Identify the Five Major "Spend-Down" Strategies
  • Distinguish between the "lookback period" and the "penalty period"

This course is eligible for CLE credit. Please be sure to check the Credits tab prior to enrolling to confirm this course has been approved for CLE credit in your state.

Learn More and Register

Practice with Purpose

October 19 - 21, 2020

For new LWP members, Practice With Purpose events serve as the introduction to LWP planning concepts, strategies, tools, systems, processes, workflows, and more. We host these intensive, three-day events several times a year. You can see how comprehensive this training is by reviewing the schedule here.



October 21 - 23, 2020

Our Twice-Annual Practice Enhancement Retreat (TAPER) incorporates live training, with a focus on new innovations in practice proficiency, operations, marketing, hiring, team building, personal and professional growth… basically, whatever you need to know to run a successful firm based on how YOU define success. The fact that many of our members attend both TAPERs each and every year testifies to the event's power and value, as well as the spirit of community inherent in LWP membership.

Learn More
Lawyers With Purpose


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