Planning in Uncertain Times

July 28, 2020
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Planning in Uncertain Times
Father daughter hike. Photo by Adobe Stock.


“How are you?”

It’s a question that, not long ago, was likely asked out of polite custom rather than seeking the play-by-play of one’s current events.

But then COVID-19 hit and stay-at-home orders were enacted. And suddenly, those three simple words—“How are you?”—took on significant weight. Our focus quickly shifted and sharpened on the wellbeing of our families, friends, neighbors, and communities.

Through the mere act of asking, “How are you?,” we began reprioritizing what truly mattered and, for many, thinking longer-term about our collective wellbeing.

In fact, according to a CNBC article published in April, the demand for wills jumped 76% in the last two weeks of March. Meanwhile, life insurers have reported a spike in new business of as much as 50%. In a dramatic time of uncertainty, people have begun to take charge of their future in the ways they can: protecting themselves, the people they love, and the causes they believe in.

The Trail Conference is incredibly lucky to have a Life Member among our ranks who has long championed and encouraged others to safeguard their most valuable assets—themselves and their spouses, children, and other loved ones. Robert C. Ross has been sharing his insights and wisdom on estate planning in Trail Walker for the last year (find our archives here) and was a catalyst in forming our Trail Angel Society.

Members of this special group have chosen to secure not only their own future, but that of the Trail Conference as well, through planned gifts. They share the common bond of generosity and vision to ensure that the trails and natural areas we share are sustainable and accessible for all to enjoy for generations to come. If you are one of the thousands of people currently updating their wills or creating one for the first time, we invite you to join with others who share that passion for nature by becoming a founding member of the Trail Angel Society.


  1. Commit to putting your affairs in order.
  2. Provide for yourself first.
  3. Provide for the people you love next.
  4. Then provide for the organizations you love.
  5. Finally, implement your plan.

By filling out the nonbinding intention form, you will ensure the Trail Conference benefits from the philanthropy of our Trail Angels both now and in the future. For every intention form we receive, Robert will generously give the Trail Conference $500 to support our efforts today.

For further questions, please visit or contact Development Director Don Weise at [email protected] or 201.512.9348 x813. We want to know how you’re doing, and how we can help you protect the future you envision for your loved ones.