I went to school with a wonderful person named Thaddeus E. Pinkney III.

I expect the original Thaddeus never set out to create a ritual in which the eldest son of each succeeding generation was named Thaddeus, but that’s what happened. Rituals are important. They help us mark important events. They begin to shape us, as we shape them.

People with wills often ask the experts, “How often do I need to update my will?” My reply has been, “When there has been an important ritual.” Births, marriages, deaths—all are surrounded by ritual and signify enormous changes in one’s life. Those are times when people need to revisit their legacy to ensure their will is inclusive of newcomers and correctly captures the dreams and hopes for the future.

How up-to-date is your will? Does it include everyone you need to? Does it correctly spell out your wishes in what it says? Are you leaving a legacy of Thaddeus?

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