Scott Counsel - January 2020

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JANUARY 2020

Creating an Estate Plan Isn’t Just aWise Decision It’s a SMART Decision

Relevant Any goals made out of hate, remorse, or strong, momentary passion usually don’t last. However, making an estate plan is a goal made with a lot of forethought and the good of your family in mind. Everyone needs to plan for what will happen after they pass away, which makes estate planning a goal that is relevant to anyone’s life. You won’t have to worry about making it a goal for the wrong reasons. Time-Bound Don’t wait until it’s too late to complete this goal. When you’re making your checklist of smaller goals, put those smaller goals on a timeline, as well. Giving yourself deadlines and finding family and friends to hold you accountable to those deadlines will help you finish creating your estate plan in no time. Even if you’re still unsure about starting the estate planning process, don’t worry. If you give Scott Counsel, PC a call at 856-281-3131, we’ll get you on the right track. With the help of an expert attorney, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing your family will be taken care of after you’re gone.

We won’t lie to you: Estate planning is a complicated process. However, it’s one worth accomplishing, if only for the sake of your loved ones’ peace of mind. This month, millions of Americans all over the country are doing their best to follow the New Year’s resolutions that they’ve dictated for themselves. Some goals might be challenging, and some of them might be impossible. If you make it your New Year’s resolution to get your estate plan in order, though, you can save your family a lot of stress and heartache after you pass away. If the process seems daunting to you, don’t worry —we can show you how to make your estate planning goal SMART. “SMART” is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It was first coined in an article written for the journal Management Review in 1981 as a way to help business managers develop achievable goals. If creating an estate plan is your goal, the SMART framework can help you get everything squared away. Specific While it might be hard to fully understand what the entire process will entail, making it your goal to create your estate plan is much more specific than a goal to exercise more,

read more, or eat healthier. That said, there are specific steps of estate planning to keep in mind. From deciding to make a will or a trust to making health care directives, you’ll want to make sure you have all the specific steps sorted out. If it’s too overwhelming, we at Scott Counsel, PC can help. Measurable Measuring your progress toward a finished estate plan might not be as easy as measuring physical fitness or weight loss goals, but it’s definitely doable. After getting all your specific steps sorted out, you can make them into a checklist. Every smaller task in the estate planning process that you can check off is one measurable step closer to your overall goal. Achievable Thought it may be challenging, making an estate plan is achievable. Maybe the reason it’s challenging for you is because you have to think about your own death and what will happen because of it. Or, maybe it’s hard for you to make the time in your busy schedule to actually start the process. Whatever the reason for the challenge, with the support of your friends and family and the help of a qualified estate planning attorney, you can reach your goal.

-Justin Scott

Christa’s Corner

Winter Safety Is ‘Cool’ for our Elders Tips for Managing Dementia in the Winter

It’s January, and we are now full swing into winter! While some of us love watching snowflakes fall and cozying up by the fireplace, the cold can pose a lot of safety risks for our loved ones with Alzheimer’s and related forms of dementia. Extremely cold weather can cause confusion in any of us, so those with dementia may experience increased confusion if not properly cared for. As a result of increased confusion, our loved ones may not be able to verbalize the feeling of cold. Make sure to help bundle them up with hats, scarves, gloves and socks when going outside, and even when they’re inside, pajamas instead of nightgowns will keep in heat better. Hypothermia sets in quicker in older adults due to poor circulation as well, so ensuring your elders are active can also help with circulation and keeping their body temperatures up.

Be sure to keep their room between 68–70 F and avoid things such as heat blankets and space heaters. A warm room can increase the risk of dehydration, so it’s important to make sure someone with dementia is eating regular meals and drinking enough fluids during the winter. There are also many other hazardous factors for our loved ones with the dementia, such as more frequent falls from slippery surfaces, wandering in the cold, and less sunlight with longer periods of sundowning. Make sure you are reading up on all the ways you can keep your loved ones safe from the cold this winter.

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