What Family Traditions Will Your Children Remember?
One of my favorite aspects to my job comes after the estate plan has been designed, drafted, and executed. That’s when I get together with my clients to have what I call our “Legacy Interview.” During this meeting we sit and chat for about an hour about everything from how my clients met to their hopes and dreams for their children. I videotape this conversation and turn it into a DVD that becomes a priceless keepsake for their kids to watch someday.
We talk a lot about family traditions during this session—those my clients had growing up, and those they have created for their own family.
I’ve come to realize that family traditions are sort of like seasons—a way to mark the passage of time, and something predictable to look forward to each year. Traditions inject comfort, stability, and just plain fun into the fabric of our lives.
I love hearing about the traditions my clients have created for themselves, sometimes combined from their respective childhoods and sometimes created from scratch. One couple I’ve worked with celebrates the Mexican holiday “Dia de los Muertos,” or Day of the Dead. Neither of them are of Mexican heritage, but they really appreciate the opportunity this holiday offers to reflect upon and respect their ancestors.
Every year they create a little alter to pay homage to the members of their family who have passed on. In doing so, they involve their young son in a ritual that creates reverence and a strong bond between him and relatives he has never known.
In my own blended family, I’ve brought my Jewish traditions to the table, exposing my step-children to foods and rituals they had never before experienced. They now eagerly anticipate my Passover Seder and all the unique taste treats that go with it, including the “brown stuff” (their term for Charoset, a sweet concoction made from apples, cinnamon, honey, walnuts and red wine). Similarly, my own kids have come to enjoy the fun of decorating a Christmas tree each year.
In the end, I’ve discovered it doesn’t much matter what you choose to do as your family traditions. What matters is that you have them at all.
Contact me today to schedule your complimentary Estate Planning Session, the first step on your path to your own Legacy Interview.
by Wendi Temkin – Attorney at Law