I have recently been thinking about things I have learned from my clients this year. Although I am a “counselor-at-law,” you all are my “counselors-at-life.” For this newsletter, I wanted to share some decisions that various clients have made this past year that I admired.
First, give with “warm hands.” Do you own something sentimental that somebody else in your life would enjoy? If so, consider giving it to the person NOW, with “warm hands.” Why keep that watch or necklace in the safety deposit box when somebody in your family would cherish it? Think about giving to that person now, while you can see the smile on their face!
Second, write things down. If, for example, you chose your middle child as the Trustee (and not your oldest, who expected to be chosen), and you think that decision will cause hurt feelings, consider writing down WHY you made that choice. Did you include somebody “off the beaten path” in your estate plan, or did you disinherit somebody else? Consider writing down your motivations for others to read after your death. Putting your wishes, intentions, and motivations in your own words and in writing could provide clarity, closure, peace and reduce infighting/litigation. I have seen a few hard cases resolved without much acrimony because wishes were written down.
Thank you for reading my column and have a Happy Holiday!
In this video I talk about “Inspiring Tips for the Holidays“.