Hi there! My name is Mallory McGrath and I am the Founder & CEO of Viive Planning. Thank you so much for visiting our website and checking out the Viive POV, our blog all about the intricate, intimate, and much-needed world of aging and end-of-life planning.
Our website -and specifically our blog- is a place where you should feel safe. It is a place where you can express all of your thoughts, wishes and desires. A place where we work collaboratively: between you and Viive; Viive and your current service providers; Viive, yourself and our Trusted Partners; you and your family; or Viive and your family.
We all want to be valued for who we are and what we believe in. We all want the freedom and support to express our wishes and desires for our lives. Somewhere, in this 21st century world we live in, with all the technology and a fast-paced lifestyle, we have, perhaps, set aside compassion and empathy. Two of Viive’s core values are just that. Anything and everything that a client tells us has value and deserves compassion, empathy and understanding.
So, how did I get into this specific niche industry to start this new company? Let’s start with what I’m not. I’m not a lawyer, accountant, financial advisor or a funeral director. I’m not a member of any traditional profession that is associated with any sort of end-of-life planning. I come from a varied background that has contributed to this path I’m currently on.
Growing up the daughter of music teachers, I was raised singing and performing. I received my Bachelor of Music in voice performance from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. From there, I tried my hand at being a professional singer, yet I constantly found myself distracted by my interest in philanthropic events. I became active in fundraisers, concerts and whatever I could do to advocate for organizations I felt compassionate about.
A few years later, I met a lawyer while performing in a community theatre play. He must have seen something promising in me as he hired me without any training or specific education to be his litigation law clerk. I’ve spent the past decade working for him and very quickly started focussing on estate litigation.
What I find most fascinating about the family dynamics surrounding a loved one’s estate is that money is the most litigious factor, but the amount of money doesn’t really matter. Families are willing to fight over $10,000 in the same way they would fight over $1 million.
As an artist and performer, I have learned to understand my own emotions and empathize with others. That heightened awareness has served me well with the clients that I work with now. Anything that anyone says has meaning behind it. People want to be heard and they want to be understood. While it may seem that what they are saying seems completely irrational, if you stand back and really listen to the reason, I can see it has immense value.
Two and a half years ago, I had an idea. Estate litigation was on the rise and was destroying more families with each passing year. As Baby Boomers continue to age, we are seeing the largest transfer of wealthin our country’s history from one generation to the next. Much of that wealth will be lost to estate litigation. Money aside, many families have the potential to be destroyed due to grief and greed, which I like to call, the catastrophic cocktail of emotions.
People often point out how young I am, and they wonder if I can truly understand what it’s like to “get older." I’m pretty open about the fact that I was diagnosed with health conditions that are associated with premature aging. This has given me a view into the aging process in a way that not many my people my age are privy to.
I created Viive Planning to help advocate for the clients who need help communicating with their families about their wishes for their life and ultimately, their death. I want to help educate our Canadian society on the need for holistic, collaborative, and well-rounded planning. This is not a company that tells you “make sure to get your Will and POAs in order and make sure you have enough money to retire and then you’re good to go”. That kind of traditional “estate planning” is such a small fraction of the intricate puzzle that is aging and end-of-life planning.
I knew from the beginning that if I was going to make a change in how we plan as a society, I would need an amazing, highly educated and empathetic team of people working collaboratively with me. I’m so lucky to have the support of a wonderful roster of Trusted Partners. They are the service providers that will work with you to achieve your goals and desires, which we will develop together in your personalized Aging End-of-Life Plan.
Our roster of Trusted Partners continues to grow. Core providers -from lawyers, accountants and financial advisors, to social service professionals such as grief counselors and family mediators- share the same values that we have at Viive and are ready to help and advocate for our clients.
We at Viive work with a team and work with you and your family as a team. As the old adage goes: “it takes a village." Most associate this with the raising of children, but I associate it with all of life's changes. It takes a village of loved ones, friends, family, service providers and other experts to help you create and enjoy the life you deserve to have.
I look forward to the opportunity of working with you and your family to help you express your wishes and desires for your life and death in the most positive and fulfilling of ways.