Family Gatherings are the Perfect Time to Talk Turkey About Estate Planning
At your Thanksgiving table, there may be lively conversation about important issues like football, politics, and cornbread recipes. But it’s also a good time to take stock of the deeper issues in the background of your lives, like estate planning.
There is no question that when I give thanks, at any time of any year, the thing that I am perhaps most thankful for is my dad’s effective estate planning. My life – my material security, my education, and all the benefits that have come from them – are all the result of that good planning. No one expected him to die young, but he did, and his planning made all the difference, even now decades later.
You might ask yourself for a minute whether your mom’s and dad’s affairs are in order. Do you know – or do they – who would manage their finances if they became ill or incapacitated? Who would make medical decisions? What would happen to the family bungalow at the lake? You might think about your brother with special needs, or your sister who might still be drinking, and ask, will they be able to take care of themselves if certain other people weren’t around? And even if they are fortunate enough to inherit money, would they know how to handle it responsibly?
These are issues that no one wants to think about. But what better time to think about them when you are with the people you care about most. To care for them means to care about them now, and also under other circumstances that you might or might not be able to anticipate right now. And sometime during the long weekend, you might find a few private minutes to start a conversation that could make all the difference.
Ron Meyers graduated from Columbia University in 1992, from Harvard Law School in 1999, and has been practicing law in New York City since 2000. He worked for several years in major law firms on commercial real estate matters, such as the World Trade Center, the creation of the High Line and the redevelopment of Times Square. He turned to private-client work in 2007, opening his own practice in 2009, where has now served over 1,000 clients. He and his team handle estate planning, probate and residential real estate matters for individuals, couples, & families of all kinds.