When you create an estate plan, you’re doing it to ensure that you and your family are taken care of when most needed. You want to pass wealth to the next generation, and to the extent possible, you want to communicate to your heirs the values you’ve held dear.

On this day before Thanksgiving, it’s important to also think of estate planning as a way to say “thank you” to those who’ve supported you and those to whom you’ve given support. You might choose to express thanks to certain charitable organizations in whose causes you believe by arranging for current and later legacies to support causes important to you.

This year’s Thanksgiving is a challenging one, even for those of us whose health has not suffered directly from the pandemic. Our holiday plans have been disrupted; and the usually festive season is tinged, for many of us, with sadness and a certain measure of fear.

Research tells us that giving thanks and focusing on an “attitude of gratitude” can help. “With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives,” Harvard Health Publishing explains, helping us “connect to something larger than ourselves – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”

In psychology, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with helping us:

  • feel more positive emotions
  • relish good experiences
  • improve our health
  • deal with adversity
  • build strong relationships

Studies of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive towards the partner, but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns they had. Since our attorneys help create premarital agreements and resolve issues faced by couples, we know how important it is for partners to share both thanks and concerns.

Holidays can present the risk of conflict between adult children and their parents, and resentments can fester even during this pandemic-imposed distancing climate. Finding ways to make your parents and your children feel appreciated is perhaps even more important than usual this Thanksgiving..

For everyone, estate planning in itself is a process of choosing among alternatives, of communicating one’s values, providing opportunities for the next generation, and saying thank you.. That’s why, at Geyer Law, we encourage parents to invite their children to be part of the discussions they have with our

In the spirit of gratitude, we want to extend Thanksgiving wishes and gratitude to our blog readers and clients. To each of you, thank you for allowing us to help you create your very own ways of saying “Thank You!”

– by Rebecca W. Geyer