Merlino & Gonzalez - June 2020

June 2020




WHAT WILL YOU MAKE OF THESE UNUSUAL TIMES? Family and Planning Are at the Top of My List

Just like John did last month, I want to take this opportunity to talk about my own experiences with COVID-19. It’s certainly brought about a lot of changes and new priorities in many people’s lives, but surprisingly, many of these changes feature silver linings too.

people are spending time with one another truly speak to how important family is in times of hardship.

With this being the case, a lot of people lately have started to think about just how important it is to have a proper plan in place should the unthinkable or unexpected ever happen to them. I’ve always been a proponent of this type of planning, and not just because it’s my job. The fact of the matter is that estate planning is what allows you to control what happens after you pass away. Whatever you want to happen can happen. It’s entirely possible. You can designate who’s going to be in charge of things, who’s going to look after your kids, where your assets will go, and how all the processes are going to be handled. Things can be exactly as you want them with the proper planning in place. But none of it can happen if you don’t take the first steps to make it so. You might be wondering how you can possibly put such personal plans in place when the world seems like it’s trying to keep people from being personal with one another at all. But at Merlino & Gonzalez, we’re doing everything we can to make these important plans achievable. We’ve been answering emails, picking up phones, and scheduling videoconferences regularly. In May, I even held my very first driveway consultation! However you feel comfortable working with us on something so personal, I’m excited to be able to tell you that we can make it happen. Our goal is to provide the peace of mind that planning can bring and do so as safely and comfortably as needed. We’re here for you if you need us. From my family to yours, I hope you’re finding ways to cherish this time we all have together and are creating your own innovative methods for staying positive and productive. We’ll get through this by working together.

At home, just like it’s been for other families, we’ve reached a point where we need to find ways to battle the monotony of things. My wife and I have always found time to spend together, but anyone who has teenage kids will tell you that getting them to spend any amount of meaningful time with their parents can be challenging. But with stay-at-home mandates, we’re now finding so much more time to spend together, which I’m not sure would happen in other circumstances. We take a family walk in our neighborhood nearly every evening, watch movies together, and do entirely too much baking of cookies and brownies to satisfy our collective sweet tooth. That’s probably why we’ve found it so necessary to start going on all those walks! Together, we’ve also come up with creative ways to spend time with family members who don’t live in our home with us. We sent a copy of our favorite family game, Scattergories, to my in-laws, then arranged a time to play virtually together. It was incredibly fun, but it admittedly prompted the realization that virtual visits sometimes aren’t enough. We’ve since carefully orchestrated in-person visits by donning masks and gloves and spending time — 6 feet apart — in the backyard together for lawn games like ladder ball and bean bag toss. The innovative ways



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