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This past weekend, I attended my oldest child’s graduation ceremony. Colin, along with about 760 of his classmates, entered Lake Central High School as students and left as alumni.

It was much more emotional for me than I expected. We’ve spent the last eight months visiting colleges so it wasn’t like I didn’t see it coming. I admit that I got a little misty eyed watching him walk across the stage. It was also a slap in the face.

I don’t think I was alone dealing with the realities of the moment. Earlier in the week, I talked with my friend Roman whose daughter graduated with Colin. His comment to me was “dude, we’re old.”

I’ve written about Colin in a number of columns. In sixth grade, he picked up a tuba and the rest, as they say, was history. Since Mr. Gore’s class, Colin has been obsessed with music. So obsessed that he has decided that it’s what he wants to do for a career. He isn’t planning on being a tuba rock star or anything. Rather, he wants to become a music educator.

Now, I’m not sure about you, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at my high school graduation. Colin has known since he was 13 that music was it for him.

This brings me to the point of this column. Colin has a dream and as a parent, I want to see him achieve his dream. That has meant making sure that he gets to every lesson and visits and auditions at colleges that offer a musical education degree. It also required the purchase of a CC concert tuba: Ouch.

While I’m here, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that Colin’s dream becomes a reality. I’m so committed to seeing Colin reach his dreams that Trish and I have included a provision in our trust addressing it. If something happens to Trish and I, the trust provides that one of its primary purposes is to support and encourage Colin’s educational goals. It’s written in such a way that if he needs a new tuba or a computer or anything else to help him reach his goals, the trust is there to make it happen.

It’s easy to encourage and support our children while we are here. However, it becomes a little more difficult if we aren’t alive to support them: that’s where planning comes in.

Not every child wants to be a band director, but every one of them needs a parent's support. A little planning may make all the difference in the world. I mean, come on, what better legacy can you leave than your children?

As you can probably tell, I’m really proud of my son, as I’m sure you are of your children and grandchildren. Why not show them how much you support them and their dreams by including something in your estate plan?

Congratulations to the class of 2018. Make us proud.

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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