A Resolution…and a Gift!

George Reilly |

A guest post from our legal affiliate, Reilly Law, PLC.

This is the time of year when folks are trying to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones and are also thinking about their New Year’s Resolutions. Wouldn’t it be great if these could be combined into one? I remember an old (okay, at this point more properly characterized as ancient) Saturday Night Live fake commercial about a wonder product that was both a dessert topping and a floor wax. As absurd as that idea is it does show that we like multi-purpose products. Think about the popularity of the Swiss Army knife for example.

Our idea for a multi-purpose holiday gift is to get your personal legal and financial readiness in order just in case. We call what we do at Reilly Law, PLC “Peace of Mind Planning” to remind our clients that an estate plan does not have to be depressingly gloomy and dwell on disability and death, but rather can be a real gift to your loved ones in case something unfortunate happens. Your gift helps them at the most difficult time and, trust me on this from personal experience, it is very much appreciated then as your loved ones can focus on what’s important and not about what wasn’t done. This is not the time for the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” conversation.

So think about the surprise that you can spring on your loved ones this Christmas and into the New Year with this gift. Okay, admittedly it will likely not go over as well as a large TV, gaming system, or new car with a giant bow on it, but you can emphasize that it is a gift from the heart and could be priceless if and when needed.

So if I have you convinced to think along these lines the next question is how to start? We strongly urge you to NOT go about this in a do it yourself fashion. DIY projects are fine for many things but in estate planning there is rarely the opportunity for a “mulligan” if you don’t get it right the first time. A fix of a mistake is not as simple as going back to the hardware store or calling in the pros. It is generally too late at that point.

Our recommendation is that you seek out the services of a skilled estate planning attorney or law firm. Many lawyers advertise that they do estate planning among other practice areas but that is not always the best choice for you. We have created a simple checklist for you to assess a lawyer you are considering for estate planning on their education, expertise, and enthusiasm. You can get your Estate Planner Checklist by visiting the www.ReillyLawPLC.com website or you can send us an email at Roadmap@ReillyLawPLC.com for your copy.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year to all. And think about an unconventional but critically important “combo” gift this year!