The Greatest Gift

Updated: 6 days ago

#happyholidays #powerofplanning #gipelaw #estateplanning


This post may look slightly different with much less talk about trusts, assets, beneficiaries, and directives, so thank you for bearing with me as I stand on my soapbox for a minute.


I have the great fortune to work with many married couples and families with minor children and wanted to share a bit of what some people may call wisdom.


This year it was a goal of time to be more intentional around this holiday season. I wanted to make sure that I took some time off to enjoy the holidays and these precious moments with my kids.


So as I was sitting back and watching my children play (which could be better described as complete chaos), I became incredibly grateful, that is after I overcame the sudden urge to have a meltdown myself.


The cruel reality is that next Christmas isn't guaranteed and isn't guaranteed to look exactly like this one. So I took an extra moment to appreciate this Christmas that was made perfect by all of its imperfections. To enjoy all I got to celebrate with and where I was today. So many fathers and mothers will never appreciate a moment like this again.


Shortly after this moment and all of the fun experiences of my kids tearing through their presents, I realized what the most incredible gift was. Within 20 minutes, my kids had sufficiently played with all of their toys and were once again clinging to me as their source of entertainment for the rest of the evening. At that moment, I didn't realize it, but after looking back, I can see now that the greatest gift I can ever give is my time.


None of the gifts that my children received were as important or valuable to them as my time and attention.


After all, think back to your childhood for a minute. Do you remember what gift you received in 1994 or 2003? Of course, those gifts have long since made their way to a new home and long since forgotten, but I am sure you remember your family traditions and the love and laughter you shared.


Time is the Greatest Gift


Please make sure you guard your time and are protective over it! Do not allow circumstances in your life to rob you of this precious resource, whether imposed upon or manufactured. Stress, worry, anxiety, and all of these are distractions that rob you of your time. Eliminate or resolve these hindrances and start with what is most important to you.


If you are like most, then one of the largest sources of worry in your life is your kids and their future. As parents, we have this undeniable, inexplicable need to protect, provide and often shelter our children, almost as if it is hardwired into our DNA. I get it.


Being Prepared


One of the primary sources of this worry for parents is not being prepared if you think about it.


Every time you are away from your kids, get onto a flight or have a near-death experience driving a car, you feel it. The sudden sense of dread, the knot in your stomach, the feeling of unease or bitter taste in your mouth. Before getting distracted, your mind will briefly race down all of the "what ifs. "You soon forget to repeat this process either tomorrow, next week, or next month.


It is crazy! And yet we do nothing about it.


Most parents cannot answer basic questions about their kid's future if God forbid they were not here to care for their kids. Like,

  • Who would take care of and continue to raise their kids and make those life decisions?

  • How would they survive, where would the money come from, and who would make financial decisions?

  • What their life and quality of life would be like?

You can recapture your time, have peace, and eliminate the problems. These can all be solved, and you can solve them! All it takes is to decide to change it and follow through. And if you don't have the answers to these questions, that is okay! You can call me, and I can help you solve it.


But do yourself and your family the greatest service, and don't put your estate plan off another year.


Reclaim your time and freedom, and protect your family.