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Massachusetts Estate Planning and Elder Law

Monday, September 12, 2011

Estate Planning for the Seasons

Labor Day has already passed, and whether we like it or not, we are reminded of Fall.  Sweaters, Pumpkin flavored goodies, leaves changing, and of course, winter.  In Fall, the world around us is changing-- it starts to harden, to yawn with brilliant crimsons and golds, and then turns over to sleep until better weather comes around again.  If nature thinks this is the best way to do things, then maybe we should pay attention to that cycle of change, and try to apply it to our own lives.

 

Spring: It is undoubtedly a part of life for each of us to feel invulnerable in youth.  We are young, we are growing, we are learning, experiencing, thriving, living.  Everything is happening to us, and we can practically feel the world turning around us.  But then, we open our eyes, and look at the world hurtling by, and realize that we are spinning alone, as fast as we can.

 

Summer: After the nausea passes, we build a life that we can work with, and start to focus on the big picture. The people in our lives become  the foundation for how we spend our time, and in a lot of ways, influence what we do. We create our own families, have children, foster the unlikeliest of friendships, and make our own world a more beautiful place.  This is the time of blue skies, birds chirping, warm sun, pleasant breezes, fluffy clouds, sand, surf, laughter, and the occasional drenching storm. And whether we realize it or not, planning for a fun summer picnic can become practice for Estate Planning . We start asking ourselves: "What are we going to eat?"; "Where are we going to go?"; "What about Jenny's allergies-- did you pack her Epi-pen?"; "What if it rains?"; "Did we bring some toys for the kids?".  These questions are much in the same vein as ones at an Estate Planning design meeting. Even though this thought process is something we may go through daily, some who begin to think about this may feel their Estate isn't "big" enough to make Estate Planning "worth it" during the summer; they continue to save for the rainy day, and feel the sunshine on their faces.

 

Fall: As the air turns more crisp, we put on more layers, and bundle up our loved ones for the more temperamental weather.  In all aspects of life, we start thinking about the harsh weather and hard times ahead, and start making preparations.  For many of us, the heart of fall is in the leaves falling off the trees, and in the cold breeze that is quickly turning into a strong wind. Surely at this point, we can no longer ignore the arrival of fall, and the eminent arrival of winter. We close our house windows, start making stews, casseroles, and start planning for the holidays. Just as with  picnic planning, we must reflect on the needs of our loved ones, and try to provide for them the best that we can. 

 

Winter:  The hardship.  The cold that cracks hands, stings skin, and stills life.  The winter is the anticipated unexpected.  It is the season of constant surprise, and wearying repetition.  But, it is also a season of quiet nights blanketed in thick snow. And warm fires that bring together the family from peripheral rooms of the house.  It is the season of hot cocoa, helping neighbors shovel the record snow, and softly glowing holiday lights lining the heart of town.  Bundled up against the cold, winter seems manageable, and sometimes even pleasant. And even for those who may have misplaced their winter jacket, worn out their old gloves, or need a snowsuit for their newest grandchild, the stores are still open and able to help. Estate Planning  is available at any time to help anyone protect the ones they love and whatever they may have against the bitterness of winter.

 

As we transition from the comfort of a well-known and loved season, it is essential to remember the importance of planning for the changes ahead of us; proper Estate Planning can help you protect your assets from taxes, provide for any special needs situation, and give you peace of mind. Remember, you never have to freeze in winter-- it is never too late begin Estate Planning!

 

Picture generously shared by Jim Crotty under a Creative Commons license. "Autumn Colors on Lake Logan in Hocking Hills Ohio by Jim Crotty" http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimcrotty/5107844796/






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