Parenting is always challenging, but it has been particularly so during the past year.
I have a very vivid memory of putting my children to bed on Friday, March 13th of 2020, the night Governor Northam ordered all K-12 schools throughout the Commonwealth to be shut down in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The shutdown had a big impact on my family, because my husband was a high school teacher, my five-year-old son was in kindergarten, and my husband’s parents were watching our three-year-old daughter during the day. As I tucked my daughter into bed that night, she started to ask me questions I found I did not know how to answer: questions about what was going on in the world, and whether any of us would get sick, and how long this would last. I moved on to my son’s room, where he boldly asked God to “blow this sickness away” during evening prayers. I had a pit in my stomach that night as I struggled to find words of comfort and reassurance. I had felt unprepared as a parent before—many times—but all those prior experiences paled in comparison with the feelings of helplessness I had in that moment.
Fast forward thirteen long months and here we are—we’re doing it. Has it been messy? Definitely. But we’re figuring out how to parent during very unpredictable times. For most of us, though, this year has brought heightened levels of stress and anxiety. We are juggling work responsibilities with the needs of the family, worrying about loved ones who have been ill or are at a heightened risk of sickness, and grieving loss. We are anxious about what news or schedule conflicts each day may hold. And we long to see friends and family again and get back to doing the things we love.
While I will be the first to say I’m tired of talking about the pandemic, I also want to acknowledge what we’ve accomplished and tip my hat to all of you parents out there: you’re making it through some very difficult and uncertain times, and in doing so, you’re helping your children to make it, too.
Amidst the insecurity of this past year, I think many of us have re-evaluated our priorities. Items of true importance have floated to the surface like bubbles at bath time, and many of us have been forced to adopt a common adage for people struggling with anxiety: “control what you can control.” One of the most important ways that parents of young children can exert control over their lives is by developing an Estate Plan to make sure that your family will be taken care of in the event of a crisis.
Please join me for a virtual, down-to-business discussion of the unique estate planning needs of young families on Thursday night, June 10th at 7:30 pm. I am excited to bring you this information, as the issues we will be addressing are personally significant to me from my vantage point as an Estate Planning attorney and a mom. We will talk about the importance of naming a Guardian to care for your children and planning with trusts rather than wills to keep your children’s inheritance from being tied up in court. We will discuss the importance of making sure your spouse and/or other trusted individuals are ready to act as your Power of Attorney if you are ever sidelined with a sickness or injury, and how to plan for children who have special needs.
At our firm, we understand that there are lots of obstacles preventing young families from taking the time to develop a comprehensive, well-thought-out Estate Plan, and we have pulled out all the stops to help you exercise control over one of the most important areas of your life: the care and protection of your loved ones.
Come join me in taking the first step towards addressing this critical topic of planning in the midst of uncertainty, and let’s show our children what it looks like to face the future boldly.