Scott Counsel - February 2020

www.scottcounsel.com 856-281-3131

February 2020

Why Your Estate Plan Is the Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

While I wouldn’t claim to know what your Valentine’s Day plans are, I’m willing to bet that “get our estate plans in order” is probably not on the list of activities. That being said, I think I could make the argument that sitting down with your spouse and figuring out your estate plans ties perfectly with the theme of Valentine’s Day. It’s easy to let our own mortality frighten us. We know it’s not something that’s easy to think about. However, if we want to know that we’ll be okay after the passing of our loved one or that our loved one will be okay after our passing, then we should think seriously about getting a rock-solid estate plan in place. When you get right down to it, getting your estate in order is one of the most loving things you can do for your spouse. When you and your spouse create estate plans, you sacrifice your comfort for their benefit. When one of you passes on, the other won’t have to worry about who gets what part of your estate. That way, in the wake of a loved one’s death, there will be some semblance of peace.

Do you remember how much you or your spouse spent on an engagement ring when you both decided to take the plunge into marriage? Depending on how long ago you got engaged, it might not seem like such a large amount now, but I bet it was a hefty sum of money at the time. Engagement rings are a symbol of lifelong love that supersede our usual instinct not to spend a significant portion of our savings on one item. Engagement rings aren’t just diamonds and precious metals; they’re investments in a life with the person you love. Likewise, estate plans are an investment in the lives of your loved ones after you’re gone. Unfortunately, it seems like many people are much less willing to commit to that investment. During the Valentine’s Day season, love is on everyone’s mind. Store aisles are filled to the brim with hearts, chocolate, and flowers, and we can’t help but feel romance in the air. If you’re married, then your mind will undoubtedly be drawn to your spouse and all the ways you can make Valentine’s Day a special time for you both. It’s a day dedicated to showing how much you love each other.

That peace won’t just be felt by your spouse, though. Figuring out your estate plan will ultimately bring some peace to your entire family, to anyone who would be included in your estate plan. Nobody wants to lawyer up and duke it out in court over inheritance disputes while they’re grieving a loss. Take some time to reflect on your estate plans with your spouse this month. It might not be the Valentine’s Day gift you want most, but it will always be appreciated. To start the estate planning process, call Scott Counsel, PC, at 856-281-3131.

–Justin Scott

Christa’s Corner

Caregiving Burnout and Fatigue Take Time to Care for Yourself!

Have you ever gone into a Hallmark store to pick out a card, and as you’re reading it, you start to cry? Perhaps you’ve had the same reaction while watching a movie that wasn’t meant to be that sad. Have you looked back and asked yourself, “Why am I being so emotional?”You might be experiencing an emotional blunting, where you react to situations differently than would normally be expected due to burnout and compassion fatigue. Not only are caregivers vulnerable to burnout or compassion fatigue, but members of the family are as well. It is common for dementia caregivers to develop compassion fatigue as a result of coping with the emotional needs of a loved one with dementia and a list of tasks that seems never-ending. As caregivers, we take on prolonged stress,

loss, and vulnerabilities. This can cause extreme exhaustion, poor sleep, bad eating habits, depression, and a decline in our own overall quality of life. Often, we push our own needs aside to care for our elders. However, caring for yourself is one of the most important — and one of the most often forgotten — things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for will benefit too! To see where you fall on the compassion satisfaction/fatigue continuum, take the Professional Quality of Life (PROQOL) questionnaire, which was developed by Dr. Beth Hudnall Stamm, a leading expert on compassion fatigue, at PROQOL.org/uploads/ProQOL_5_English_Self-Score_3-2012.pdf.

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