More Than a Plan Our Commitment to Education and Your Family’s Future
Y our estate plan is so much more than a tool for your family to use when you pass. It’s a compilation of the decades of accomplishments and acquisitions you made throughout your life, detailing the pieces of your legacy you want passed onto future generations. It’s one final opportunity for you to do something for the family you built up around you. And while it’s a plan you never have to put to use, it’s one of the most valuable actions you will do while you are alive. To ensure we are providing our clients and their families with the most effective plans possible, attorneys Craig Hersch and Michael Hill share a unique distinction that only 318 of the 100,000- plus lawyers of The Florida Bar can claim. Craig and Mike hold their Wills, Trusts & Estates Law Certification with The Florida Bar — the highest level of honor for any specialty in Florida. To obtain this honor, Craig and Mike passed a rigorous exam and demonstrated complete and specific knowledge, skills, and ethics within wills, trusts, and estate planning. They are also required to recertify this distinction every five years. Our team values the intensive work it takes to earn this distinction, and it’s not an attribute Craig and Mike take for granted. Estate planning is a unique niche of law. There is new information almost monthly about tactics and procedures for attorneys and experts to utilize for their clients. That’s why we don’t take our jobs lightly at the Sheppard Law Firm.
Craig and Mike immerse themselves in the latest innovations in wills, trusts, and estate planning at the weeklong
Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning through the University of Miami every January to further their education and ability to serve clients. For 54 years, the Heckerling Institute has offered professionals across the nation an opportunity for educational and engagement opportunities with some of the world’s foremost wills, trusts, and estates experts. Thousands of estate planning attorneys will meet in Orlando for a week of intensive education, knowledge-sharing, and improvement with scholars, attorneys, and researchers. Craig is celebrating his 30th year in attendance at the Heckerling Institute, and Mike has attended alongside Craig for the past 15 years. Craig and Mike use this weeklong expedition into the latest updates in estate planning to disseminate the complex and updated information into usable tactics and upgraded standards for client planning and care. You and your family deserve an estate plan that exceeds the expectations set by this ever-growing and complex field, and we are dedicated to achieving that every year. As per tradition, the duo will also condense what they learn into a short presentation for our Client Care Program members in February, cutting the legal jargon and boiling it down to easy-to-understand details. “This information goes into books, articles, and everything that we do here,” Craig further explains. “Our unique ability is taking the complex and making it simple.” Everything we do at the Sheppard Law Firm is done with our clients in mind. We understand and value the complexities and emotional connections behind your estate plan, and that’s why we are committed to getting better each year. Thank you for pushing us to do so.
– Craig and Mike
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MedicalMiracle or HealthHoax? 3 Red Flags to Watch Out For
Cellulite Isn’t Real In 1968, Vogue magazine introduced American women to the word “cellulite,”warning them of a terrible “diagnosed” condition women suffered from. They encouraged the use of a special rolling pin to banish
The new year is a great time to make your health a priority again, and there are a bunch of workouts and diet plans to choose from. Too many, some might say. It can be difficult to determine exactly which health plan will help you reach your goals, but there are some pretty obvious red flags that you’ll want to avoid. Beware the Dreaded ‘Detox’ Plenty of diets, supplements, and products claim to “purify” your body by removing unspecified“toxins.” These “detoxes” conveniently forget that your kidneys and liver are already removing substances your body doesn’t need! The human body has been capable of cleansing itself for thousands of years. It doesn’t need a special smoothie or footpads to get the job done. Most detox products are nothing but snake oil, and some of them can leave you feeling worse than you did before you started using them. Unless you have been diagnosed with a disease that would impair your liver or kidneys, you don’t need to spend extra money to keep your insides clean. A healthy diet is enough. K e e p Y o u r E y As the decades tick by, you may start to notice graying hair, wrinkles, and creaky joints that were once limber. Aging is inevitable, and with it comes a litany of issues that younger folks rarely worry about. Many aging professionals preach the power of fall prevention, memory improvement exercises, and arthritis-friendly activities, but there’s one body part that’s often forgotten when it comes to aging: your eyes. Like every part of your body, your eyes show the intensity of aging. You may notice you’re straining to read this very paper or that you reach for your glasses when confronted with written or digital text. This could be due to age-related macular Caring for Your Vision as You Age
the little lumps of fat on women’s thighs and buttocks. Since then, cellulite has been used as shorthand to mean “bad body fat you need to remove.” But cellulite is not an indication of poor health. Furthermore, there’s no cure for cellulite because it’s not a disease. It would be like using a special lotion that claims it can remove the wrinkled skin on your knuckles! Most people, especially women, have cellulite. It’s perfectly natural! If you want to get in shape this year, avoid diets or products that claim to melt cellulite. This is a clear indication these treatments aren’t based on real medical science. Cure-Alls Cure Nothing A“cure-all”is any product, treatment, or diet that claims to cure a bunch of unrelatedmedical problems. Cure-alls have been a problem for centuries, claiming to help with weight loss, migraines, heart disease, anxiety, depression, and even baldness! This isn’t howmedicine or the human body works. One change cannot magically fix many different, sometimes unrelated, problems.
A good way to determine if something is a cure-all is to check if it claims to help treat, prevent, or cure cancer. That’s a big red flag you want to avoid.
A decrease in vision is normal because eyes develop wear over decades of use. However, there are many common conditions that are not normal for healthy eye aging. Glaucoma, damage to the optic nerve that diminishes peripheral vision, is hereditary but often painless with little effect outside vision loss. Cataracts are also common in aging eyes. These appear as cloudy portions on otherwise clear sections of the eye and can lead to worsening vision. Eye conditions can also manifest as a result of chronic conditions. For example, those with diabetes —more commonly, those who have had diabetes for a long time — face the risk of diabetic retinopathy, damage to the blood vessels that nourish the retina. This condition can cause blindness, depending on the severity. While you may not be able to reverse the side effects of aging, you can effectively diminish its impacts. Avoid retina damage caused by digital blue light waves that computers, TVs, and phones emit by decreasing the amount of time you spend staring at these objects. Experts at Johns Hopkins University recommend protecting your eyes from the sun with sunglasses or tinted windows and increasing the longevity of your eye health with regular exercise and a healthy diet. Experts have linked staying active and maintaining a healthy weight with decreased vision loss and a lower risk for cataracts and glaucoma.
degeneration. While the peripheral vision is not affected, the macula, which aids in regular activities like driving and watching television, is diminished with this condition.
Learn more about eye protection and vision conditions from the American Optometric Association by visiting AOA.org.
Your Family’s Story Creating a Family Narrative That Transcends Wealth
The Sheppard Law Firm’s prolific writer, Craig Hersch, has done it again—wielding his pen to craft a column that many of our readers have enjoyed, shared, and mused over. Below is a snippet from an article Craig wrote this autumn. You can read the full article and other pearls of wisdom from Craig at SBSHLaw.com/blog. So many of my clients, when discussing their estate plans, voice a common concern: “I don’t want my wealth to somehow weaken my children’s drive and ambition.” This concern has merit. The old saying “shirt- sleeves to shirt-sleeves in three generations” is found in many different cultures. In Japan, the expression is “rice paddies to rice paddies in three generations.”The Scottish say, “The father buys, the son builds, the grandchild sells, and his son begs.” Family wealth can only survive through a family narrative, passed down from generation to generation. Each generation needs to feel like a part of the original narrative and have an obligation to continue its journey. I believe we can amend our estate plans to tell our stories and build our narrative for all our loved ones.
Why not include, then, on the opening pages of a will or trust, how your family’s wealth was acquired? Describe the trials and tribulations it took to accumulate and distribute this inheritance and what you hope subsequent generations will not only understand but also build upon. Enunciate your family’s core covenants, and build your legacy. It’s always best to discuss these important topics with your loved ones during life. Memorializing your family legacy, however, can certainly be accomplished in your estate planning documents. I’m working on a way to systemize this process in the coming months as part of our unique process, The Family Estate & Legacy Program. In the meantime, my suggestion for those of you who this speaks to is to take the time to write down your thoughts. You probably recall important lessons your parents and grandparents taught you because you remember their stories. The families who prosper tend to be the ones that, from generation to generation, become part of a shared narrative. How are you going to create that narrative for your family?
o w t o M a k e Y o
2 lbs cabbage
4 tsp fine sea salt
Equipment • Jar •
Lid with airlock
Something to weigh down cabbage, ideally made of a nonreactive material like glass
DIRECTIONS: 1. Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Slice very thinly.
2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage and salt. Let stand for 20 minutes. 3. Squeeze cabbage to release juices. Let the cabbage continue to soak and release juices for another 20 minutes. 4. Transfer to a jar and press down cabbage until completely submerged in its juices. Weigh down cabbage. 5. Seal jar with airlock. Let cabbage sit at room temperature and away from sunlight for one month. Once fermented, transfer to the fridge. Sauerkraut will keep for six months to one year. 3 (239) 265-9779
Solution on Page 4
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9100 College Pointe Court Fort Myers, FL 33919 (239) 265-9779
INSIDE this issue
Committed to Bettering Ourselves..................................1
These Health Hoaxes Will Sink Your Resolution..............2 Common Signs of Vision Problems as You Age..............2 Craig’s Pearls: Sharing the Meaning of Your Family’s Wealth.......................................3 How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut...............................3
Stay Active During Your Golden Years............................4
t a y
Share your passion for sports as a coach. Coaching can be a satisfying way to spend your retirement and support younger athletes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if
Whether you want to generate some extra income during your retirement or just keep yourself busy, getting a part-time job can be a great way to spend your golden years. But why settle for just any opportunity when you could stay mentally and physically active and give back to the community? If that sounds like your ideal way to spend retirement, here are a few options to consider. Pass along your knowledge as a teacher. Many community colleges and community centers offer part-time teaching opportunities for those who want to share their field of expertise with others. Many of these positions don’t require a teaching degree or certificate — just a wealth of knowledge from your years in the workforce. Alternatively, if you want to help younger students with their academics, you could also work as a tutor or a teacher’s assistant at a local school.
you want to be a coach. You might need to pass a background check, and you’ll probably need to know first aid as well. While the pay isn’t incredible, the time you’ll spend sharing your passion for sports with young people is more than worth it. Give back as a personal care aide. If you’re looking for an opportunity to stay active and have a more direct impact on people’s lives, you can try being a personal care aide. Personal care aides help elderly and disabled people with everyday tasks, such as shopping, doing laundry, and bathing. Many people who require this assistance prefer older aides who can empathize with their struggles, so it’s a great job for recent retirees. Just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you can no longer bring value to your community. With all the time you have on your hands, you could become one of your town’s most valuable assets.
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