Elder Care Firm April 2018

Plan. Protect. Preserve.

OFFICES: Brighton | Bloomfield Hills | Livonia | Novi

WHEN BIRTHDAYS STOP BEING ABOUT YOU THE IMPORTANCE OF GIFTING A LEGACY

April is my birthday month, and it always brings back fond memories of childhood. As I’ve grown older, my birthday has become less of a marquee event. These days, I look forward to the birthdays of my kids more than my own. My son, Ryan, was born in August, and he’s already telling me what he wants this year. At the very least, it gives me a long lead time to deliver something special. If Rochelle and I can make our kids’ birthdays anywhere close to as special as my parents made mine, we’ll be doing a good job. Every year, my parents took me to a steak dinner at Mountain Jack’s. The restaurant may no longer be standing, but I’ll never forget how excited I was to sit down to a prime rib and some sides. To this day, I still associate my birthday with a well-cooked (not well- done!) piece of beef. My most memorable birthday was when I turned 14. As usual, we had dinner at Mountain Jack’s. After putting down a salad, 24 ounces of prime rib, some grilled veggies, and mashed potatoes, my mom encouraged me to order another steak. I was a growing boy and took the challenge to heart. I managed to eat another prime rib and more mashed potatoes. It was as if I had created a Mountain Jack’s challenge all by myself.

Turns out, my mom had a secret reason for prompting me to eat 3 pounds of steak. She had planned a surprise party for me at the house, but I finished my meal too quickly for all the guests to arrive. Clever as she is, she realized that encouraging me to eat more food would keep us at the restaurant long enough for all the party prep to be completed. When I came home, I was full, and full of joy. Of course, birthdays aren’t all about parties and steak. They’re also a marker of growing older and time passing. As you grow older, it’s time to start thinking about the legacy you’ll leave long after you’re no longer around to celebrate your birthday. Gifts for yourself become less important than the gifts you’ll leave your loved ones and charitable organizations.

with minimal hassle. Imagine that you picked out the perfect gift for somebody, but mailed it to the wrong address. All your hard work and good intentions would end up going to waste. I’ve seen this happen far too many times with estates. And unlike mailing a gift, developing an estate plan is extremely complicated. You might think going to the post office is a pain, but I can assure you that’s nothing compared to dealing with probate. Whether you love your birthday or regard it as just another day, it’s a reminder that time marches on. Don’t let another birthday pass without thinking about your estate. We may not all enjoy growing older, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the passage of time as valuable as possible.

“If Rochelle and I can make our kids’ birthdays anywhere close to as special as my parents made mine, we’ll be doing a good job.”

– Christopher J. Berry

A comprehensive estate plan is the best way to ensure that those gifts end up in the right hands

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