Van Dyck Law - Quarter 1 2019



QUARTER 1 2019

I CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS Because I’ve Asked ThemMyself

If you’ve never been through it, it’s hard to imagine what you would do if you suddenly had to manage an aging parent’s or relative’s estate because they fell ill. You have to go through it yourself in order to understand not only the legal process but also the mental and emotional toll it can have. We understand all of this very well at Van Dyck Law; navigating these troubled waters is at the heart of what we do.

of a loved one becoming debilitated with sickness, though, I didn’t have as many answers. Then, in 2008, my father was diagnosed with dementia. Suddenly I was the one asking those questions instead of the one trying to answer them. How could I ensure that my father got the care he needed? How could we best manage his affairs, given his condition? When I had to answer those questions for myself, I realized just how important it is that I understand this process for my clients. Now, elder law is a major practice area at Van Dyck Law.

“When I had to answer those questions for myself, I realized just how important it is that I understand this process for my clients.”

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Fiona Van Dyck. I am the owner of Van Dyck Law, and it is always my objective to get my clients the help they need for whatever difficult situation they’re going through. When I’m not in the office, you may find me out on the running trails or volunteering my time with the Princeton Senior Resource Center. For years, I was more of a traditional estate planning attorney, making sure my clients had the correct documentation and trying my best to make tax burdens manageable. I knew how to answer a lot of questions about what to do after a loved one died. When it came to preparing for the possibility

Squaring away all the documentation for my father and getting the proper care was hard, but I’m glad that I can draw on my personal experiences now to help others going through the same process. That being said, we are happy to help people with many different aspects of estate planning alongside our practice in elder law. Clients experiencing all sorts of situations come into our office not knowing what to expect. Some of them think they are in a situation nobody can understand, much less help them solve.

elder law, and the other areas of law we practice can be complex, and even though it can be hard to be patient through the processes associated with each area, I love the moment when clients realize we’re a little different from the average law firm. Our clients come into our office tense and anxious, but they leave with peace of mind. They know we can help get them through a difficult and confusing time in their lives and answer any questions they have for us.

-Fiona Van Dyck

Ironically, that’s where the best part of my job starts. Even though estate planning,



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The Best Way to Stay Active in Retirement

TRY SOMETHING NEW Don’t know where to start when looking for a group to join? Start online! Try searching “groups for retirees” and see what comes up. You might discover a travel group and start planning your trip to Asia. Or maybe you’ll have more fun mentoring young people in your professional field. Don’t be afraid to spend your retirement doing something new! There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your alone time, but don’t let your alone time turn into a lonely retirement. Joining a group can help you broaden your social circle, stay active, and maybe even learn something new about yourself.

While it’s great not having your nose to the grindstone nine-to-five, leaving work also means leaving behind a lot of daily activities and social interaction. Eventually, having nothing but free time goes from relaxing to isolating, and that can be dangerous to your physical and mental health. When planning for retirement, it’s important to plan ways to stay active and engaged. Joining a new organization or club can be a huge benefit. Here are a few suggestions to help you stay active in retirement. ENJOY YOUR HOBBIES Did you spend years dreaming about hitting the golf course every day? While it can be nice to spend some time alone on the green, consider joining a golfers club if you want to mix things up. Enjoy scrapbooking? Check for get-togethers at the craft shop. If you’ve always wanted to try pottery, look for a class at the rec center. It’s easy to find groups dedicated to just about any activity. GET INVOLVED Think of the causes you’re passionate about and get involved! Animal shelters and soup kitchens are always looking for volunteer help. Book lovers of all ages can join their local Friends of Libraries chapter. To make a difference through politics, help with fundraisers or join an active campaign. If you want to stay closer to home, check out your local homeowners association. There are plenty of ways to engage with like-minded people while making a difference. Do you or a loved one have questions about topics regarding aging and disabilities? Do you feel like you’re by yourself in your search for answers? Starting in May, Van Dyck Law has developed a space to help clients, families, and financial and health professionals with that search. The Education Center at Van Dyck Law is a place where clients and other interested parties can get informational materials and listen to monthly presentations from experienced speakers. There are already presentations, guest speakers, workshops, and much more on the schedule for 2019. The first guest speaker, Mary Anne Ross from Alzheimer’s New Jersey, will be speaking on May 8 on coping with behavioral changes. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can manifest in a number of different ways, from memory loss and confusion to anxiety and depression. These symptoms can fluctuate over time as well. If you are struggling to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, we hope you can find some of the answers you’re looking for at this presentation. The next guest speaker, Christina Canitano of Senior Bridge, will come by the practice on June 5 to speak on loneliness among seniors. According to recent studies, more than 40 percent of seniors experience feelings of loneliness, and it often goes undiagnosed. Loneliness can increase the risk of cognitive decline among seniors, What ’s Coming Up


as well as extract a financial toll on the health care system. Socially isolated seniors influenced, on average, $130 more per person per month in Medicare spending. We hope that Christina’s presentation can be the start of the fight against senior loneliness in our community. In addition to the presentations, Fiona Van Dyck will be giving Legal Seminars for the community throughout the year, so keep an ear out for when and where those seminars will be held. We hope that you will find the presentation topics helpful to your situation and that you would email Sheli Monacchio at sheli@vandykfirm.

com if you have an idea for a presentation topic that is not already scheduled.



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May is Older Americans Month, a time to support and observe the contributions of older Americans everywhere. The theme of Older Americans Month in 2019 is “Connect, Create, Contribute,” as a way to encourage those with years of wisdom and experience to give back to their communities. According to a study done last year, about one-third of older adults actively contribute to their communities in different ways. So, if you aren’t already, here are some ways you can join millions of other like-minded seniors in giving back. You’ve been around longer than younger generations, so naturally, you might know a thing or three that they don’t. Do you have personal experience with events that have found their way into the history books? Or maybe you just have some wisdom you think younger generations could benefit from? Find opportunities to share your experiences and wisdom with others, whether it be through historical societies or with family and friends. Vital to the Community WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE

Observing Older Americans Month

libraries, schools, or community centers. Whatever the outlet, you might be surprised by the amount of interest learning an increasingly rare skill generates.


If your working years are behind you, the time you have each day may be the most valuable resource you can give to your community. There could be causes or organizations that need volunteers when young people are still at work. Find a cause you’re passionate about and make it known that you are ready and available to help whenever needed. There are countless ways you can be instrumental to the health and well-being of your community. If you’re passionate about helping others this year, let Older Americans Month be the opportunity you seize to put your knowledge, skills, and time to their best use.


There are plenty of skills fading out of fashion, such as canning, wood carving, and leatherworking. These skills aren’t any less useful these days, and there are plenty of outlets for teaching them, whether at



Mango Paletas

Inspired by Food & Wine magazine

INGREDIENTS • 1 1/4 cups

• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt • 2 medium ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and chopped

strawberries, chopped • 1/2 cup granulated sugar • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice


DIRECTIONS 1. In a saucepan, toss strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. 2. Add 1/4 cup water and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Cook strawberries until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. 3. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Let cool completely, about 45 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, in a blender, purée mangoes with 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth. Scrape into a medium bowl and clean the blender. Then, purée strawberry mixture until smooth. 5. Into 8 3-ounce ice pop molds, spoon 2 tablespoons mango purée. Add 2 tablespoons strawberry purée to each mold, then top with remaining mango purée, leaving 1/2 inch between filling and top of mold. 6. Using a small knife, gently swirl layers together. 7. Insert ice pop sticks and freeze until solid. 8. Dip molds in hot water for a few seconds, then unmold paletas and serve immediately.

Caregiver Stress and Family Transitions — Sheli Monacchio, Director of Life Care Resources, Van Dyck Law


Medicare vs. Medicaid: Understanding the Basics — Guest Speaker: Linda Mundie, The Gardens at Monroe


Music and Memory: The Effects on the Brain in Those With Dementia — Sheli Monacchio, Director of Life Care Resources, Van Dyck Law



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707 State Road, Suite 102 Princeton, NJ 08540 VANDYCKFIRM.COM | 609-454-6259

Inside 1 2 3 4

We Understand What You’re Going Through

Which Club Is Right for You? Presentations in May and June at the Education Center

Observing Older Americans Month Strawberry Mango Paletas

Use Cues to Create a Running Habit

RUNNING: A LOVE STORY Use Cues to Create a Running Habit Since the ‘70s, devotees have referred to the elusive rush of euphoria they feel during and right after a run as a “runner’s high.” Your friend who claims to “love” running despite how exhausted she looks at the finish line of her 10K might be experiencing the effects of this phenomenon. This post-workout boost has long been linked to a rush of endorphins entering the brain, but a recent study from researchers in Germany suggests that a more likely cause is an increased production of serotonin and other feel-good neurotransmitters. Because of these physiological effects, running may help to improve your body’s ability to stand up to stress while also making you feel good. For seasoned runners, that sweet call of serotonin might be enough to lace up their sneakers week after week, but the rest of us might need a little more convincing. Research into the psychology of habit formation, which has allowed companies like Procter & Gamble to make millions, has found that habits are often linked to a specific cue. Calling on the insight of psychologists, marketing campaigns have used this tactic to sell products like Febreze, and you can use some of the same techniques to adopt a running habit.

Most cues fall into one of four categories: temporal (linked to a specific location or time of day), action-based (one of a series of actions), emotional (linked to a mood or emotion), or social (linked to a particular group of people). So if you want to create a running habit, develop prompts that will cue you to engage in it. For example, you can use temporal cues to make a habit of running every day after work, or you can make it a necessary step in your routine: Wake up, brush teeth, coffee, run, shower. Documenting how you feel after a run will help your mind link the good feelings it gives you to the action, which will then cue the habit. Next time your drinking buddies suggest happy hour, suggest a run instead. Maybe they’ll even pick up the habit.

Go on now. Let running sweep you off your feet!



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