Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Hanukkah from Mama Danielle, JD

Happy Hanukkah!
or Chanukah or Hannukah or Channukah, however you prefer!  Yes, for those of you who do not celebrate and did not spend the past few days since Thanksgiving gearing up to start another holiday celebration traditionally full of cooking, it starts tonight.  So in honor of Hanukkah, may I suggest 8 little gifts you can give your loved ones that add up to one biggie?
Gift List
  1. short term loving care for your children - legally name the people whom you want to respond in times of crisis to comfort and care for your children
  2. financial powers - give someone you trust the ability to step into your shoes to keep your financial affairs in order if you are ever temporarily unable or unavailable to do so during your lifetime
  3. advance medical directives - take the burden off your loved ones by expressing your medical wishes as much as possible now and appointing someone to make decisions in keeping with what you'd want, express those wishes for and advocate for you if you are ever unable to do so yourself
  4. end of life wishes and memorial wishes - take the burden of making horrible decisions off your loved ones and spare them second guessing and lingering doubt or guilt
  5. a roadmap for your family and trusted fiduciaries to follow - help your surviving loved ones every step of the way with every last detail possible to spare them from operating in the dark under pressure and in distress
  6. long term loving care and guidance for your children - legally name the people whom you would trust and want to care for and guide your children daily raising them to adulthood, as well as the people you would trust and want to be responsible for overseeing your children's inheritance
  7. clear direction to the court on handling of your final affairs - be it with a detailed, personal Will and court oversight, or an abbreviated and far more private Will noting that everything should be handled according to the terms of your Trust, don't leave it all up to the Court to decide because one size does not fit all!
  8. explicit directions for handling all of your affairs - using a Revocable Living Trust you may be able to provide for the management of your assets and affairs during any periods of incapacity you may experience during your lifetime and preserve more of your hard-earned assets for your family and loved ones, direct which charities to benefit and when, help your loved ones preserve their inheritances, and more.
Put these 8 gifts together with some additional letters of explanation and guidance, wrap them in a nice package, and put a bow on top and you've given your loved ones a priceless gift, even though they may not appreciate it fully just yet - especially if they were kind of hoping for a new bike or doll instead.  You know what, perhaps if they're still young, just think to yourself each night about one piece of your new estate plan while you present them with a small gift each night for 7 nights, then on the last night - that new bike or doll too!

Thanks for reading!  Happy Hanukkah!  I'll be celebrating for the next 8 nights with my family, then we'll take a brief intermission before Christmas!  Until then, I wish you good health, much happiness, and peaceful good times with family and friends.



  1. This was the free, fun, friendly, biweekly e-newsletter I sent out from me & my firm (DGVE law) on Wednesday, which was the 1st night of Hanukkah this year.

    You can sign up to receive future messages on my website (, Facebook Fan Page (, or my blog (

    Off to light night 3 candles w/my 3 little ones here soon. Happy Holidays to you & yours!

  2. Happy holidays, Danielle! Great advice! I wish I lived in your area so that you could handle our estate and future planning - know anyone great in Austin, Texas?