Articles and Columns

Carissa Giebel Column: Writing for My Children

7:50 PM, Sep 24, 2012 |

On August 25th, my son was born and I became a mother. As I spend some time at home with my new son, I am in awe at how much joy such a little person can bring into my life. On the same note, I’m not sure how I am able function on such little sleep, but each day I make it through.

Many hours during the day are spent holding him and watching his precious face and the darling expressions he makes as he eats, sleeps, looks at me, or stares out the window.

As I watch him, I am so thankful for this opportunity to care for this little life and I cannot help to wonder what he will be like as he grows. I also consider what his life would be like if something would happen to me, or worse, to both myself and my husband.

There are many things I want to make sure my son knows about us and our values, and most importantly, how much we love him. Equally important, there are things we would want his guardians to know about how we want him raised, our family values, philosophies, and priorities.

First off, it’s most important to discuss these things with your spouse or the other parent of your child. The next step would be to put this in writing. This writing can be in a letter, journal, or even incorporated into your estate planning documents. A last will or a revocable living trust can include an article written to your children, or a section including specific duties of the guardian.

To give you some ideas, I will share a few of the ideas incorporated into my estate plan. A priority for our family is that our children are raised in a Bible-believing church, knowing that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior.

Education is also important, and we want our children to be encouraged to seek higher education. We want our children to know this, but we also want the guardians to offer opportunities to our children to pursue educational opportunities.

We want our children to understand the value of families and also the calling from Christ to care for and love others in need in both the community and beyond.

We want our children to know that real success is when they follow their calling in this life and pursue their dreams, rather than focusing on what would make them the most money.

As a new mom, I’m learning to savor these days and experiences I have today, while I have the chance. My son, at only 26 days old last week, already gained three pounds since he was born. Despite the difficulties and exhaustion, I remind myself to find the joy in today and stop waiting for tomorrow.

Take some time this week to think through what’s important to you and your family, and put it in writing. Even if you don’t have minor children, it can still be a priceless gift to your adult children.

Perhaps you want to write about why you made certain choices or did things the way you did throughout your life. In a hundred years from now, the amount of money you made won’t matter, but the legacy you leave behind will matter.

Carissa Giebel is an estate planning attorney and partner at Legacy Law Group LLC. She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or (920) 560-4651.

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