Your five turkeys and about 100 pounds of dressing are almost done! And while that might be a slight exaggeration on the dressing, it felt like 100 pounds while you were making it. You hope that everyone has a happy and thankful day, but you are certain that anyone within your community will have something to eat and people to dine with.
Playing a small part in the local celebration of your small Texas town has been a part of Thanksgiving in your home for at least a decade. As you and your family join about 1,800 of your new best friends in the southern Texas town of Vattman for an all-you-can-eat, family-style meal, your college age children still look forward to a full day of fun.
A typical Sunday may only include the 40 members of Our Lady of Consolation parish, but this group knows how to plan a hearty, home-cooked meal. The church and parish members have hosted a Thanksgiving feast for more than 100 years, and are practiced at setting up the outdoor feast. The entire community bands together and many former church members make this a regular and literal pilgrimage to revisit year after year.
This Thanksgiving tradition not only bands family, friends, and community together, but also reminds you of the past and encourages you to look toward the future. This year, the future seems a little less certain. With your father’s wife’s health failing, you, your husband, your sister, and her husband ended the weekend talking about your father and how likely it would be that he would still be in his home next year at this time. Conversations about living wills and power of attorneys are never easy, but the four of you know that these are conversations you need to have.
Living Wills, Trusts, and Power of Attorneys Help Families Prepare for the Future
Even though the holidays are supposed to be a time of celebration and laughter, the reality is that there are many times when families also find themselves visiting about important, more serious matters. From trusts and wills to discussions about independent living facilities, there are many situations when the holidays are the one time when families are all together and have an opportunity for these conversations.
Fortunately, there are real estate attorneys who can help families plan for the future sale of a home or farm and there are other lawyers who can help families make sure that they have living wills and other important papers in place. In fact, whether you are looking for help talking to your parents about end of life plans or you are the victim of a personal injury accident, it is important to make sure that you get help from the most experienced legal representatives. Living wills, for instance, are often easier to put in place if you work with a law firm that specializes in these offerings. Consider these facts and figures about the many times when families find themselves looking for experienced legal advice:
- 72% of American seniors have a living will, but this means that nearly one in three do not have the proper legal paperwork in place.
- Only 4% to 5% of personal injury cases in the U.S. go to trial. The remaining nearly 95% are settled out of court, typically with the help of an experienced attorney.
- As many as 10,000 people in America may be wrongfully convicted of serious crimes each year, so it is important that you have the right legal counsel if you are facing a crime trial.
- The most common personal injury cases include: motor vehicle accidents (52%), medical malpractice (15%), and product liability (5%), acording to the U.S. Department of Justice.
- More than 1 million children are involved in divorce proceedings every year and their futures are often influenced by custody decisions made in a courtroom.
- There are about 876,000 divorces each year in the U.S. That means that there is a new divorce happening every 36 seconds.
The holidays are a time of family gatherings and long standing traditions. In many cases, however, they are an opportunity for important conversations about parents and aging in place, as well as wills and trusts.