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NC and SC Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

More Than Just The Start of Summer

If you didn’t know better, you might think that Memorial Day is all about heading to the beach, eating hotdogs, and scoring a good deal on a new mattress. Advertisers have taken what was once an opportunity to remember our deceased soldiers and our relatives who passed before us, and turned it into the “unofficial start of summer.” This year, plan on setting aside some time to remember those who have passed away.

Memorial Day as we know it became popular after the Civil War. The families of fallen soldiers would come together on an afternoon in late spring to spruce up the cemetery after the winter months, and lay flowers on the graves.

Although some families still carry on this tradition, and the gathering becomes a bit of a family reunion, modern celebrations are less morbid and more focused on civic pride and the start of summer vacation season. This change was facilitated in part by 1968’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create an annual three-day weekend.

It would be nice to see a return to the roots of the holiday because it is an important one. It is important to remember the more than one million men and women who have given their lives in service to our country. And it is important to pass on meaningful traditions and a sense of history to the next generation.

From an estate planning perspective, Memorial Day used to create a natural opportunity for people to talk to their family members about their burial plans. Now, the topic is somewhat taboo. We urge all of our clients to break this taboo though. Talking about death should not be weird. It happens to everyone whether you talk about it or not.

We have seen too many people who have been shocked at the funeral and burial instructions they discovered after their loved one’s death. Worse though are the people who bury their loved one, then find a set of burial instructions that differ significantly from what the family did. This is why we discourage our clients from putting their burial instructions in a will, and instead suggest drafting a separate document that they can share with loved ones now.

No matter how you celebrate Memorial Day, we hope you have a great one! And we encourage you to take some of the time you are spending with family members to honor those that have gone before us and talk about your burial preferences.


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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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1701 First Baxter Crossing, Suite 101, Fort Mill, SC 29708
| Phone: 803-594-4453
13315 Carowinds Blvd., Suite Q, Charlotte, NC 28273
| Phone: 704-369-9977

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