The weather has turned colder and holiday decorations and sales are popping up everywhere, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Plans for family get-togethers are being finalized and excitement (or anxiety, for many) is growing, as we look forward to seeing relatives who we may not see often throughout the year.

The world outside our homes is a bit crazy right now, with more stories of unspeakable crimes and divisive politics every day on the news. While it is not always the case, time with our families and friends should be an escape from the “badness” in the world and be filled with laughter, old stories, updates on each other’s lives, and, of course, great food!

Consider who the most important people in your life are. Are they dependent on you? Do they like each other? Do their spouses and children like each other? What are your hopes and dreams for them? Then consider what would happen to them, both financially and emotionally, if you were no longer around. Sometimes there is one family member who is the glue holding the family together—without that person the family falls apart. When this happens, it’s heartbreaking. Younger family members miss the opportunity to grow up with and be close to their aunts and uncles, cousins, and sometimes even siblings and grandparents. Older family members lose touch, often at a time when they need each other the most.

While you certainly cannot control everything after you’re gone (most of us can barely control things while we’re alive!), you can take steps now that will, hopefully, provide financial stability and guidance for your loved ones. If you are thinking about creating an estate plan, or if you already have a Will and/or a Living Trust in place, consider discussing your decisions with your family. More importantly, discuss your reasons for your decisions with them. Having an open discussion with those who will be affected by your plan can go a long way in keeping your family together for years into the future.

You certainly have no obligation to justify your decisions to your family. However, if you can try to make them understand why you made the decisions you did, there is may be a better chance that they will not resent you, or each other, after you are gone. Then they can continue to enjoy many happy Thanksgivings for years to come, while reminiscing with funny stories about you, of course! This is so much more important than any amount of money you could leave to them.

If you would like to discuss your existing estate plan, or start the process of creating one, please call our office to schedule a no-charge initial consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys. We will walk you through different options, depending on your needs, and help you think about how best to accomplish your wishes, and preserve family harmony, no matter what your plan looks like.

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving…Be sure to slow down and enjoy your time with your family and friends and reflect on the blessings in your life!

Should you have any questions about business law or any other laws that may affect your business, or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Business Immigration, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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