Promise Law September 2019


Navigating Changes Slowing Down and Maintaining Faith

Perhaps it’s due to all my years

working in higher education, but the month of September always embodies a kind of transitional period in my life. In truth, I think I got so accustomed to readying myself for the start of the

academic year that every time autumn rolls around, I still feel like I should be preparing for new people, new experiences, and new opportunities for learning. Having talked to other people about this feeling, I know I’m not alone. There seems to be a widely experienced physical shift from the big energy of summer to the focused, hunkered-down state that starts in September. In the same way that the trees shed their leaves in preparation for winter, it’s as if we shed our carefree summer demeanor to face life’s upcoming transitions head-on. If you caught last month’s newsletter, then you know that this fall I am navigating some fairly huge professional changes. The addition of Rob as a firm partner and his three great staff members coupled with our move to a new location are exciting and welcome changes

for Promise Law. But like any move, they didn’t happen without a little bit of logistical stress. I spent some time worrying about getting all the office equipment moved; coordinating efforts with Rob and his team for essentials like computers, phones, and emails; and seeing to other practical preparations before realizing that when big changes happen, I can do only so much to control how they unfold. A former supervisor once told me I had a high tolerance for ambiguity, and, while I initially laughed off the comment, I realize now how much it’s helped me navigate life’s transitions. Change requires us to be in a period of unknowing, which can be difficult, invigorating, and, frankly, a little scary. While everyone approaches change in their own way, two primary reminders help me. First, you can’t rush to feel how you think you’re supposed to. Second, you must maintain faith that everything will turn out just as it’s meant to in its own time. During an impactful professional or personal transition, I have to remind myself of those two points every couple of months, weeks, or sometimes hours!

I’ve shared these reminders with many of my clients over the years as well, especially those who have just had a loved one pass away. There’s a period of trying to understand what life will look like without that person’s physical presence. The surviving family members often want to create a semblance of order by rushing to get their loved one’s wishes taken care of as quickly as possible. But, just as with any other big life change, you can’t rush this one. You can do all that’s possible to help, but after that, you have to rely on faith. In the end, no matter what you are up against this fall, I hope you find a way to look at it from a positive perspective. After all, life’s most rewarding experiences stem from a little change, some initial fear, and a whole lot of trust, and I can’t wait to see what this season holds for me and for Promise Law.


Wednesday, Sept. 4 2:30–4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 18 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

Come pay us a visit at our new location! Check out the flyer inside for more details!

The workshops are free, but registration is required. Call (757) 690-2470 for more information or to register.

-Geneva Perry | 1

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HONORING THE CANINES OF 9/11 The 4-Legged Heroes of Ground Zero

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service.

Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.

Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts.

Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: .


We pride ourselves on being a country where everyone receives a fair trial. And while that’s not always the case, even the craziest claims still have to be heard in some capacity by a court of law. As you can imagine, this can result in plenty of spooky high jinks in the courtroom. Let’s take a look at some of the more baffling court cases in recent memory.

As a result, he sued on three occasions after his lawyer missed certain deadlines to turn in proper documents. Thankfully, the issue was resolved, but not before he had his credit cards and Medicaid revoked after appearing to be dead.

Solemnly Spooked

Dead Man Talking

An unnamed New York resident — just what on earth is going on in New York? — claimed that the house they’d recently purchased was horribly and cripplingly haunted by unseen forces. The poltergeist was said to disrupt their daily activity, and the plaintiff was suing on the grounds that the home was notorious in the area for being haunted and had a reputation as such, therefore it should have been disclosed to the buyer before closing. They won. That’s right; the court ruled that the seller misled the plaintiff and should have disclosed the nature of this potentially harmful house. Shockingly enough, this type of thing is required to be disclosed when selling a house in New York. Well, at least a buyer will have peace of mind knowing that they got a sweet new pad and a ghoul for pennies on the dollar.

In something straight out of a Coen brothers movie, a New York man had to sue The New York Times on three separate occasions to get them to stop reporting that he was dead. In all fairness, it seemed like an honest mistake prolonged by the ineptitude of his public counsel and a whole lot of terrible coincidences all rolled into one. Juan Antonio Arias just so happened to share the same first and last name as one “Juan Arias” who had met his untimely demise. After it was reported in a Times article, the living Arias accidentally had his own date of birth and Social Security number added to the death certificate of his now deceased namesake in a terrible mix-up from the coroner.

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Have you ever wanted to experience the colors of a Boston fall while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors? Autumn leaves are a universally appreciated sign of the changing seasons, and there’s no better place to see those vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds on display than in one of America’s national parks. So, if you’ve got some free time this autumn, here are some parks worth seeing. THE BEST NATIONAL PARKS TO VISIT THIS FALL While the maple, birch, and poplar trees of Acadia begin to change color in September, mid-October is the best time to witness autumn in full swing. The park is crisscrossed with unpaved trails that date back to a time of horse-drawn carriages, preserving an idyllic setting. If you want to see the colors in full effect, take a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and watch the sun crest over the vibrant leaves. To fully experience fall in the Northeastern U.S., Acadia National Park is a must-see. Acadia National Park, Maine



Inspired by Bon Appétit

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina

6 oz pasta, ideally spaghetti or bucatini 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and divided 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano- Reggiano 1/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste

Further south, the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains are no less breathtaking than those in the Northeast. This park offers many scenic lookout points accessible by car, so don’t worry about hoofing it into the forest if that’s not your thing. Park wherever you like and watch the warm colors of ancient maples, oaks, and cedars change before your eyes.


Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping 2 minutes short of desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add pepper and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer pasta and remaining butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Add Parmesan cheese and cook until melted, tossing pasta throughout. Remove pan from heat and add pecorino, continuing to toss until cheese is melted and sauce coats pasta. 4. Transfer to bowls and serve.

While the West might typically be associated with evergreen pines, the deciduous trees of the relatively small Grand Teton National Park pack a colorful punch starting around the third week of September. It’s also breeding season for elk in the area, and their high, eerie whistles can be heard in the evenings. Popular destinations in the park include the Christian Pond Loop and String Lake. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite national parks until next summer. The natural beauty of America can be experienced at any time of the year, so start planning your next autumn outdoor excursion! | 3

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PromiseLaw Life happens. Plan on it. ™ (757) 690-2470 12610 Patrick Henry Dr., Ste. D Newport News, VA 23602



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Fall Is the Season of Change

Cacio e Pepe The Vibrant Colors of America’s National Parks Honoring the Canines of 9/11 Crazy Lawsuits Surrounding the Dearly Departed


Why Are So Many People Deciding Not to Retire?


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, upward of 40% of people aged 55 and older are continuing to work past the normal retirement age. There are a number of reasons why people are choosing to stay employed, with one of the biggest being a lack of retirement funds, but some are also using work to keep their minds and skills sharp. In fact, most of the jobs that the 55-plus crowd goes after keep them engaged with the community and help them lead more active lives.

ones. This balance is exactly what many older workers are looking for, especially those who are “part-time retired.”

More importantly, however, most older workers find these jobs fulfilling. They allow older folks to interact with the community and stay active, both of which, research suggests, are essential to healthy living as people age. For many, working past retirement, or not leaving the workforce entirely, can be a win-win-win: It’s a win for your bank account, a win for your health, and a win for the community.

The BLS categorized the jobs many older workers are currently pursuing:

Real estate appraisers/assessors

• Property/real estate/community association managers • Technical writers • Tax preparers • Construction/building inspectors • Crossing guards • Clergy These seven jobs are projected to grow between 8–14% over the next six years according to BLS data. They often pay well and don’t always require a full-time commitment. Many even offer flexible schedules, which can help older workers spend more time with peers or loved

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Meet the team dedicated to helping you and your family take comfort in an estate plan you trust!

Geneva Perry, Esq.

Rob Kutz, Esq.

Elizabeth Bircher, Esq.

Jenna Byrum

Tammy Gandolfo

Dale Kutz

Jeanine Mazzochette

PromiseLaw Life happens. Plan on it. ™ (757) 690-2470 12610 Patrick Henry Dr., Ste. D Newport News, VA 23602

Hey there,

Pay us a visit at our new office location! 12610 Patrick Henry Dr., Ste. D Newport News, VA 23602 We firmly believe that a small amount of planning today will provide an enormous amount of security tomorrow. No matter where you are in your estate planning journey, let our group of professionals help you come up with a plan that works for you and your family.

- The Promise Law Team

“I retained Attorney Perry to provide assistance in settling a deceased client’s estate, which proved to be quite complicated in nature and time-consuming. Not only was Attorney Perry extremely well-versed and knowledgeable, I also found her to be very empathetic, patient, and kind. She and her staff were very well organized and diligent in staying on top of pertinent deadlines and keeping me abreast of progress on my matter. Having had many interactions with other attorneys in the area, I found her fees to be very reasonable and fair. She is a breath of fresh air and a tremendous asset to her profession.” CLIENT TESTIMONIAL

PromiseLaw Life happens. Plan on it. ™ (757) 690-2470 12610 Patrick Henry Dr., Ste. D Newport News, VA 23602


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