Estate Planning in Pop Culture: HBO's Insecure

I love estate planning story lines in popular TV. The beginning of Season 5 of HBO’s Insecure included a good one. Insecure is Issa Rae’s amazing comedy series that follows her and best friend, Molly Carter, two smart professional black women working through the awkwardness of life in modern day L.A. Molly is an associate in a big law firm. Her confident, independent and tough personality work for her professionally, but create challenges in her personal life. The story subplots involving Molly often touch on legal issues.

In the most recent episode, Molly confronts her parents, CC and David, about their lack of an estate plan. At her nephew’s 9th birthday party in her parents’ yard, Molly scolds her parents – a lovely retired couple – for not having met with the estate planner she recommended. We sense this is an ongoing conversation between them, not the first time Molly nagged or scolded. CC and David clearly are anticipating the scolding so present Molly with their written plan. It’s a handwritten note that explains how assets should be divided among Molly and her brothers, Jerome and Curtis.

handwritten note from insecure

Not surprisingly Molly is appalled, and she doesn’t hold back. “This limp loose-leaf piece of paper doesn’t qualify as estate planning. You actually have to go to a lawyer.” Her parents don’t take the bait on a fight.

Later in the show, Molly rethinks her approach. She calls her mother to apologize for her harsh words and acknowledges the challenge of estate planning. CC confesses that she understands its importance but that she’s fearful and uncomfortable about contacting the lawyer. She promises to reach out the next day.

The story arc emphasizes the importance of a “light touch” when discussing estate planning with family. For advice on how to talk to your aging parents about estate planning, read my blog post on 10 Tips on How to Talk to Your Parents About Estate Planning.