Swerdloff Law September 2017

Learn Healthy CopingMechanisms That Put You in Control DEALING WITH STRESS

government entities. Without an estate plan, there’s a risk that government benefits could be invalidated. One of the biggest issues I see when a person doesn’t do estate planning is probate. Do you know anyone who has gone through probate after a loved one’s death? If so, you may have heard what a long and painful process it is. If not, I can tell you that probate is a long and usually very expensive process, and it’s exactly where you could end up if you have assets worth more than $150,000. Your house, retirement account, stocks, or bonds — all these assets could be wiped out during probate. Wouldn’t you be better off investing in a good estate plan to protect your family and the assets you want to leave them than losing it all in probate? If you want to talk about estate planning and reduce the risk of your assets ending up lost in probate, give us a call. We would be happy to make a road map with you. MAKE TIME FOR RELAXATION Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. If you make ample time for self-care, you will be in a better place to handle life’s stressors. Give yourself options like going for a walk, calling a good friend, journaling, or reading a book. LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE In addition to regular exercise, there are other healthy lifestyle choices that can increase your resistance to stress. Eat a healthy diet; reduce caffeine and sugar; avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs; and get enough sleep. Stress is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to dictate your life. With stress management techniques, you can avoid chronic stress, reduce your stress levels, and live your life to the fullest.

maintaining stress, you will never be able to control it.

FIND HEALTHY STRATEGIES Withdrawing from loved ones, bingeing on food or alcohol, procrastinating, and sleeping too much are all unhealthy ways to deal with stress. Instead, find unique, healthy coping strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control. AVOID, ALTER, ADAPT, AND ACCEPT Some stressors are predictable. Learn how to predetermine your reactions by choosing to avoid, alter, adapt, or accept. Avoid people or situations that stress you out. Talk about your feelings instead of bottling them up, create a balanced schedule, reframe your problems, look at the big picture, and practice gratitude. It’s critical to look at the glass as half-full and learn to forgive.

You have more control over stress than you think. Stress management is about taking charge of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems. No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to regain control. IDENTIFY SOURCES Chronic stress is hard to recognize. Look closely at your habits and excuses. Do you explain away stress as temporary? Do you define stress as an integral part of your life? Do you blame your stress on others? If you don’t recognize your role in creating or

NO ASSET LEFT BEHIND Why Estate Planning Is Not Just About Taxes

A lot of people come to me with a very concerning question: “My estate isn’t all that big, and it doesn’t look like I’ll have a problem with taxes, so why do I need to do estate planning?” The reality is, taxes are only one reason to plan. An estate plan isn’t just a way to manage the taxes your family could owe on assets. It’s a way to make sure you or

your family has a road map to your estate. Without an estate plan, loved ones could be left to make stressful decisions about what the deceased has left behind, and even more frighteningly, these assets could end up in the hands of strangers. Especially when special needs interests are a factor, an estate plan can keep those interests safe from Medicaid and


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