The Elder Care Firm October 2017

Plan. Protect. Preserve.

OFFICES: Brighton | Bloomfield Hills | Livonia | Novi


Given that we have

year I went as Merlin. I had a blue robe, a hat, a super long fake beard … the whole nine yards. The inspiration probably came from Disney’s “The Sword in the Stone” adaptation, and I think I pulled it off pretty well. Of course, Halloween is about candy just as much as it’s about costumes. When I was younger, my friends and I would travel to the subdivisions where the houses were closest together, maximizing our candy per hour income. After amassing our respective hauls, we’d head home. The first thing I would do was dump out all of my candy onto a table, dividing it into the good candy and the less- than-good candy. I mean, it was all sweets, so there wasn’t really a bad pile. My kids do the same thing today, and they even go so far as to trade away their least favorites with friends and classmates. I suppose the systematic way I approached Halloween may have been an indication of my future career. When I talk with clients, we always discuss their goals for later life and what’s important to them. Elder care planning is obviously a lot more complicated than optimizing candy intake while avoiding Good & Plentys. Early on, I caught on that the more planning you do, the better your outcome will be. When creating trusts and dealing with other aspects of elder law, asset protection is a huge concern. If you’re not diligent, assets can be lost to lawsuits and long-term care costs, or they can end up in

two young kids in my house, October is all about Halloween.

Ryan is 7 and Madison is, as she likes to say, 4¾, so they both get excited about dressing up and trick-or-treating. Honestly, my wife, Rochelle, and I are looking forward to it, as well. The kids’ anticipation is contagious, and we love going out alongside them. While we still haven’t decided on costumes this year, I remember the time we did themed father- son and mother-daughter outfits. Obviously, the kids were the decision-makers — otherwise Ryan and I might have ended up dressing as elder care attorneys. Madison suggested that she and Rochelle go as “sparkle witches,” which I thought was very creative. We got some great reactions from neighborhood families, so maybe it will become a Berry family tradition.

“When I was younger, my friends and I would travel to the subdivisions where the houses were closest together, maximizing our candy per hour income.”

probate. You also need to regularly review your plan and make necessary changes, just like you would alter your Halloween route to avoid dentists giving out toothbrushes. As a kid, I didn’t want even one piece of the good candy lost. Today, I take the same care with the assets of my clients. With careful, comprehensive elder law planning, you’ll end up with no tricks, only treats.

Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a kid, so it’s not hard to understand my children’s enthusiasm. My best costume was probably the

– Christopher J. Berry

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Plan. Protect. Preserve.

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