Recently I caught one of my favorite movies on television: "Finding Neverland."

"Finding Neverland" tells the story of how J.M. Barrie was inspired to write "Peter Pan." As the story is fictionalized, I'm sure that it's not completely true. However, it's a wonderful and inspiring tale. Sad, but wonderful and inspiring none the less.

One of my favorite scenes involves Barrie speaking with a woman, Mrs. Snow, who has recently lost her husband. After Barrie offers his condolences to Mrs. Snow, she replies "I suppose it's all the work of the ticking crocodile ... Time is chasing after all of us."

Now I've read a couple of the Peter Pan books and have seen a number of movie versions, but I never made that connection until I saw "Finding Neverland." The ticking crocodile is an analogy for growing older. I suppose it makes perfect sense but it isn't something that I put together until I saw the movie.

Obviously, Mrs. Snow is one hundred percent correct. All of us is getting older and it may be happening so quickly that we don't even notice. It seems like only yesterday that I put my oldest son, Colin, to bed one night and the next morning he drove himself to school. Those 18 years are like a blink of an eye. Sure there were some arguments and a lot of laundry but the rest is like a blur.

The truth is time is running out for all of us. One of these days our family will be trying to come terms with our death. Since the end is inevitable, we should try to make it as easy on our loved ones as possible by planning. Folks, don't underestimate the value of not leaving a mess.

Planning is the one thing that we can do to make our passing a little less painful for our loved ones. Not easy, but a little easier.

I'm guessing that at least a few of you intended to put your affairs in order this year. If you intended to do that, I hate to tell you but the year is almost over and if you keep putting it off until next year it may never get done.

So before you put this off for another year, listen carefully.  Do you hear that ticking?  That's the crocodile and it's coming for you.  Don't be unprepared when it gets here.

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Christopher W. Yugo is an attorney in Crown Point. Chris’ Estate Planning Article appears online every Sunday at www.nwi.com. Address questions to Chris in care of The Times, 601 W. 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321 or to Chrisyugolaw@gmail.com. Chris’ information is meant to be general in nature. Specific legal, tax, or insurance questions should be referred to your attorney, accountant, or estate-planning specialist.

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