Today is National Fried Chicken Day. According to the write-up on National Day Calendar website, the tradition of deep-frying chicken came to the United States by Scottish immigrants. For me, however, the tradition was not one from my Scottish relatives but one my mother brought to our family (Mom being of the English heritage of Great Britain).
I fondly recall Mom in the kitchen making fried chicken on Sundays. And that part of her legacy lives on in me any time I cut up a whole chicken, skin it, soak it in buttermilk, cover it in seasoned flour, and fry it to her level of perfection.* And yes, hers was always perfect. It's those kinds of memories that are among those that most warm my heart. And that's the sort of planning that too often gets left out when estate planning.
An estate planning attorney can help with more than just the nuts and bolts of the legal side of an estate plan. Don't get me wrong: a solid will and/or trust is crucial. If you've minor children, trust language is particularly important. But in the midst of the planning for the legal side, don't forget the other areas of planning: your legacy; your stories; your advice; your wisdom.
In the coming months, McCreary Law Office will be expanding its offering to parents of minor children to include these sorts of things and more. The goal is to provide parents peace of mind in setting up layers of benefits and protection for their children. Part of that will include counseling clients about this sort of legacy planning. Maybe it's not a fried chicken recipe, but your stories and advice will be key parts of your new estate plan.
Whether you work on a formal plan right now or not, are you passing on your stories to your children? Are you making those experiences where you can? When is the last time you passed along that family recipe? When is the last time you shared a story from your childhood? What about engaging in your favorite hobby with one of your kids?
I know that sometimes children don't want to hear the stories or take the time to do those things. But I urge you to make that effort. Those are the times we remember. Those times are what really make a family legacy in the hearts of our loved ones.
*Many recipes for making fried chicken exist. But I am particularly partial to Mom's.
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