I’ve never really given much thought to the expression “Christmas in July” until recently. As an estate planning attorney, as in any profession, my line of work is somewhat seasonal, and summer is arguably more relaxed. Summer presents a quieter, less busy season of life for many families, particularly families with young kids home from school. This allows for time to get things accomplished that may seem overwhelming during more hectic seasons of the year. Enter estate planning.
Young families all too often forget how vulnerable they are without a will in place. If you have minor children, a will is necessary so that you can appoint a guardian to care for your children if something happens to you. Appointing a guardian is a daunting task and perhaps easier said than done, however, do not skip this critical step in estate planning. If you fail to name a guardian in your will, the court will step in and make decisions for the future of your children. The risk is simply too high not to plan.
Estate planning can feel uncomfortable and morbid, and as such, is commonly avoided. But getting your plans on paper is truly a gift to your family that spares them time, money, and uncertainty in the event of the worst-case scenario. So, this Christmas in July, I encourage you to think about estate planning as just that – a gift to your loved ones – and a task that you should complete sooner than later. No matter the size of your estate, it’s vital to have a plan in place to protect your family. And while it may not come wrapped in a bow, a well-crafted plan with an estate planning attorney allows for the greatest gift of all: peace of mind.
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