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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in holidays

DuPage County estate planning attorneysIt is hard to believe, but the winter holiday season is just about upon us once again. While Thanksgiving evolved as a celebration of the harvest and is, therefore, a fall holiday, it is also seen by many as the first of the winter holidays that also include Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s. For the next month or so, families throughout the country will be getting together to eat, drink, and honor traditions that stretch back for many generations.

If your family will be getting together during the holidays, you might consider taking advantage of the opportunity to discuss your estate plans. Obviously, talking about what will happen after your death might not be the most comfortable discussion ever, but having the conversation now could go a long way toward preventing disputes and family infighting later.

Things to Talk About

This estate planning discussion does not need to last for many hours, nor does it need to be terribly detailed. The main goal is to let your loved ones know that you have created an estate plan and that the plan includes several important decisions. It is up to you to decide who should be included in the discussion, but most experts agree that your spouse and all of your children should be present, if at all possible.

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Arlington Heights business law attorneyAs a business owner, you might want to show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work with a special bonus. Of course, as much as you would like to shower your employees with cash rewards during the holidays, most businesses cannot afford expensive holiday bonuses. Many startups do not post a profit until the third year they are in business, and even established businesses can find themselves short on holiday funds. A 2017 Bank of America survey found that about 35% of small businesses give employees a cash bonus during the winter holidays. Nearly a quarter of businesses surveyed said they planned to give their employees no holiday bonus at all. If you are trying to think of a way to motivate and reward your employees this holiday season, consider some alternative holiday bonus ideas.

Studies Show Cash Is Not Always the Best Gift

You may be surprised to learn that giving employees a cash bonus does not necessarily result in improved employee morale or performance. Studies show that non-monetary rewards often have a greater positive influence on employee satisfaction. Some business owners give their employees extra days off during the holiday season instead of cash bonuses. Others close their businesses entirely on major holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Day. Businesses like retail stores that cannot afford to close their doors may find that personalized gifts may be a more feasible representation of gratitude to employees. Considering employees’ families in holiday perks-related decisions is another way to help employees feel valued.

Sincere Praise May be the Best Gift of All

Simply praising your employees for their hard work may be one of the best holiday gifts that you could give. Research regarding employee productivity and happiness has consistently shown that employees who are praised for a job well done work harder and enjoy their work more than those who receive no recognition. Including a personalized message with your holiday bonus or other perk can help show employees that they matter to you not just as employees but as individuals. Alternatively, a public display of gratitude in the form of an awards ceremony or dinner can be a great way to recognize and reward employees.

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Lombard estate planning attorneysIt is unbelievable that the winter holiday season is already upon us. By this time next week, you will probably be on your way to—or at least preparing for—Thanksgiving celebrations with your family members and loved ones. Just a few short weeks after that, families will be getting together for Christmas. If your family is spread out around the country, the holiday season might be the only time your whole family gets together throughout the entire year. With that in mind, it may be the only opportunity you have to discuss important topics like estate planning.

Being Prepared

There is no question about it: it can be tough to discuss your estate plans. Voluntarily confronting the idea of death can certainly be uncomfortable, but the conversation is important. Discussing your estate plan does not necessarily need to take hours, nor does it need to ruin the fun of the holidays. You have the power to control the conversation and to keep things positive by preparing in advance.

For example, you may wish to:

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Posted on in Divorce Rate

lombard family law attorneysWinter holidays often bring to mind thoughts of families around massive turkey dinners and children excitedly opening Christmas presents. Summer months involve similar—though usually outdoor—family gatherings and vacations. Children are on a break from school and parents can grill dinner outdoors while getting some sun. Although we generally think of holidays as a fun-filled vacation from stress, a new study from the University of Washington suggests otherwise. According to the study, rates of divorce filing significantly increase in the time period after the holidays.

Divorce filings seem to peak in March, after the winter holidays, and in August, at the end of summer vacation. Sociology professor Julie Brines and doctoral student Brian Serafini found evidence of a biannual pattern in divorce in Washington State between 2001 and 2015. Their results suggest that divorce rates rise 40% from December to March. 

Why Is Divorce Seasonal?

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Surviving the Holidays as a Blended Family Although many strive for a personal rendition of the idyllic Norman Rockwell holiday when the winter season comes, those facing the challenges of a blended family may only revisit feelings of loss, sadness and even anger, often emotions associated with a recent divorce or remarriage.

Noted professionals offer numerous suggestions to ease the tension between blended families during the holiday season.

Fran C. Dickson, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Eastern Kentucky University and featured contributor to Communications Currents, a publication of the National Communication Association, offers the following advice to blended families as means for exhibiting better behaviors throughout the holiday season.

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Posted on in Divorce

According to a report by Reuters, it may be a good idea to wait until after the new year to file for divorce as opposed to doing it around the Christmas season. Many people would think that it is just about making the holiday a good one, however there are more reasons to consider waiting.

End of Year Bonus

If your spouse receives a holiday bonus from the job, they usually receive right around the Christmas time. Waiting until January makes those funds part of the family’s finances. Filing for the divorce before the disbursement of this money nullifies it from being community property. For some these bonuses can be pretty significant.

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While Christmas is a special time of year for many, there are many others that are seeking solace from the pain of divorce. A report by the Huffington Post offers some great activities to help get over your ex and start the year anew with a better outlook on life.

Stocking Stuffer

If you have a Christmas stocking for your ex, it may be too painful to just throw it in the garbage. That may also make it confusing for the children. Instead, write yourself positive messages on small strips of paper and drop them into the stocking. When you are feeling down, pull a message from the stocking to remind yourself that things will get better! Make sure that you do this at least once a day.

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Posted on in Divorce

As we are closing in on Christmas celebrations, there is a group of people, who might not be enjoying this season, for a good reason, wholeheartedly. This group would be the recently divorced and separated. Divorce and separation are always stressful, especially with children, and having to figure out what is essentially a family holiday will not make it easier. If you look for them, you can quickly find a story addressing the issue.

The biggest factor that makes Christmas challenging for the divorced and separated is memories. Memories of past Christmases can make the thought of not having a traditional, family-style Christmas very painful. This does not, however, mean that Christmas could not be enjoyed even if your family is going through a divorce. You can always come up with new traditions, and having a challenging holiday season this year does not mean it will always be like that.

Surprisingly, Christmas and divorce do have one thing in common. Both are something you should not try to handle alone. To make Christmas easier, you can reach out to friends and family for support or enjoyable company during the holidays. As for divorce, you can still contact your friends and family for support, but it is important to also contact an experienced divorce attorney in your area.

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