Planning a Lasting Legacy with E-Courses

How Dr. Judy Butler’s Guardian Gift Eases Life Transition with Guidance and Support

Image of  Dr. Judy Butler from The Guardian's Gift

 Dr. Judy Butler, The Guardian’s Gift

Success Story Highlights

Step-by-step guide in course format

Legal, medical and emotional guidance

Consolidates online, flash drive and hard copy formats so nothing is lost

Estate planning. Living will. Advanced directive. Healthcare power of attorney. 

These words are likely to send anyone into a spin of denial and procrastination. Just thinking of these legal documents has a huge emotional impact, and the documents themselves take considerable time to draw up, and often involve the considerable expense of a lawyer.

However, lack of end of life planning can cause great stress for surviving family members. It has many legal aspects that have nothing to do with the will. Disagreements, and even legal disputes, can arise concerning property, medical treatments, senior living options, funeral arrangements, and different ideas about “what Mom/Dad would have wanted.” The burden of financial resources may fall on the adult children. The crisis and conflict that can arise are experiences most people would not wish for their loved ones. 

What if end of life planning were instead carried out as a legacy of love, with guidance, hand-holding, and even light-heartedness? 

Image of  Dr. Judy Butler from The Guardian's Gift

“I chose LifterLMS for its powerful capabilities in delivering engaging and comprehensive online training. With LifterLMS, I can effectively educate families on legacy estate planning and life transitions, providing them with the tools and knowledge they need”

 Dr. Judy Butler, The Guardian’s Gift

Online Courses that Gently Guide End-of-Life Planning

Dr. Judy Butler, a therapist and pastoral counselor, went through some of these challenges personally when she found herself having to deal with the legal red tape of medical care and caregiving for her father who was suffering from dementia. The stress of dealing with the legalities and planning made her emotionally exhausted and sadly unable to grieve when he passed.

She then realized how helpful it would have been had she had all of her father’s legal documents and personal choices clearly spelled out and accessible in one place. Hoping to lighten the burden on others, she created The Guardian’s Gift, a website that guides people so they know how to navigate the issues, how to ask the right questions, and what resources to look for. The Guardian’s Gift eases this process by offering several action plans in a course format, which are powered by LifterLMS.  

Image of the Home Page of The Guardian's Gift Website by Judy Butler

I would have been spared not only the financial costs but also the emotional, mental, and physical costs I endured. The stress and strain is not what I want to remember.”

What makes her approach different is the emotional and supportive component one will likely not get from an attorney. With her professional background, Dr. Butler aims to ease the process so that it is therapeutic as well as legally expedient—offering emotional support, medical explanations, legal/financial guidance, step-by-step planning, and proactive documentation, all within the LifterLMS modules. 

Dr. Butler endeavors to keep it lighthearted and enjoyable as possible, with an approach that comprises an estate plan, but also incorporates life stories, memories, photographs, and videos to create a life legacy plan she calls the Time Capsule. 

All in all, the Guardian’s Gift’s mission is to make vital information readily accessible, facilitate important conversations, provide support, and help honor a loved one’s life.

Course Page of The Guardian's Gift Website by Judy Butler

Every adult human being on this planet is worth leaving a legacy. You get to decide what your legacy looks and sounds like.

How The Guardian’s Gift Started

The Guardian’s Gift took root when Dr. Butler began counseling people with little more than a legal pad and a few questions based on her own experience. When COVID hit she realized she had to put her program into an online learning format. As the Guardian’s Gift grew,  she saw she needed a faster, more efficient system, with a simpler and more “elegant” user interface, so she could offer more value. Toward the end of 2023 she transitioned to WordPress due to its usability, even for someone like her with no prior WordPress experience, and while searching for the right e-course platform, she found LifterLMS.

 I was impressed with Lifter, because it incorporates the commercial piece that I needed… it flows from one lesson to the next lesson.

The Guardian’s Gift offers several courses. All include legal documents, such as 

  • Simple will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Living Will

Coaching support is available at all levels, dealing with additional considerations like how to open the topic with family (“The Talk) , medical issues, nursing homes, and funeral arrangements. Course participants also receive a flash drive to save their precious documents, and are encouraged to print out hard copies and place them in a binder to ensure that all the important paperwork is readily available and in one place. Another suggestion is to also email the information to someone like an executor or adult child. 

In addition to the legal documents above, the different courses all include an executor’s checklist for reminders like turning off the electricity and canceling subscriptions. 

Otherwise these online courses differ in scope, with one being self-led and others offering different levels of support:

  • Self-Guided Time Capsule with legal documents
  • Group-Led Time Capsule with legal documents: Includes a group Zoom meeting and Facebook group
  • Privately Guided Time Capsule: One-on-one weekly Zoom meetings with Dr, Butler
  • Doula Ultimate Guidance: A private concierge support service that includes mediation, organization, decision facilitation, explaining medical jargon, family therapy, video memories 

Upon entering a course, students are presented with a welcome video, and an instructional video that walks them through the process, such as the forms they will need to fill out. For this process Judy chose Formidable Forms because it integrates well with LifterLMS.

In Judy’s Tech Stack:

To run the Guardian’s Gift efficiently, Judy Butler has in her tech stack:

  • WordPress
  • LifterLMS
  • Elementor
  • Astra (theme)
  • WooCommerce
  • Formidable Forms
  • SliceWP (for affiliate program)

How the Time Capsule Stores a Life Legacy

The Time Capsule is unique in that is goes beyond legal documents. It is where someone can input their life story, genealogy, financial information, legal information, and health information into a simple format that someone like an adult child can access to make pertinent decisions and carry out their loved one’s wishes. Its modules outline a person’s life journey, from birth and childhood through school, adulthood, etc. It may include memories in the form of photographs, videos, and questions like birthplace, schools, best friends, pets, and so forth.

Having all of these documents and stories in one place facilitates the process surviving family will go through, allowing them to focus more on saying good-bye to their loved one.

Image of Single Page of The Guardian's Gift Website

It’s just gratifying when somebody opens up the Guardian’s Gift and the pictures are there, the stories are there. They don’t have to find the legal documents. They don’t have to look all over and make decisions about what kind of song or scripture or story is to be told or read at the funeral. It allows people to grieve in a healthy way.”

Difference between a Will, a Living Will, a Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Power of Attorney

WillLiving Will Power of AttorneyHealthcare Power of Attorney
Legal document that outlines what will happen to your assets
Legal document that declares your wishes should you need life saving measures
Handles finances and financial arrangements
Gives someone the ability to make health care decision for you if you have lost capacity 

We have published a podcast episode with Dr. Judy Butler on LMScast. You can learn more in detail about “Planning a Lasting Legacy with E-Courses that Guide & Support” on this podcast. Dr. Judy Butler also appears on a TedTalk.