Merlino & Gonzalez - February 2020

PROTECT WHAT’S YOURS DON’T LET THIEVES SNATCH YOUR INHERITANCE

If you have things of value to pass on to your loved ones, then it’s important to make sure you do everything you can to ensure those assets are properly handled after you’re gone. Even though it seems like a plotline reserved for dramatic movies, inheritance theft is a real crime that occurs far too often, and victims suffer real anger and embarrassment. It’s even worse when it’s caused by people they thought they could trust. So, take these steps to protect yourself and your loved ones against inheritance theft. MAKE AN ESTATE PLAN. Documenting your desires for your assets is the best step in preventing people from making claims against your wishes. This is especially true if you hire a trusted estate attorney to assist you with the process. TRUST YOUR EXECUTOR AND TRUSTEE. Choose a completely trustworthy person to act on your behalf. It’s also essential to distribute copies of your documents to at least one other heir so information can’t be withheld by a single party. Consider requiring your executor and trustee to retain the services of an estate attorney themselves.

KEEP EVERYTHING SAFE. Make sure all your legal and financial documents are kept in a secure location, like a safe deposit box or a fire-resistant safe at home. If you keep documents at home, keep them hidden from everyone but a trusted few. Furthermore, you should always create digital backups should something happen to the physical copies. INFORM THOSE INVOLVED. If you make changes to your documents, then it’s always best to let those affected know about them. Surprise creates an opportunity for emotion, which can lead to unsavory behavior. It’s also important to keep people updated so they know what to look for when they are no longer able to ask you. It can be difficult to consider the possibility that someone you know and trust might be harboring ill intentions for you and your assets. Taking these steps is the best way to find out who shares your intentions and who is willing to see them through on your behalf.

EASY SHRIMP SCAMPI MICHELE’S RECIPE CORNER

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INGREDIENTS

• 4 tbsp butter • 4 tbsp olive oil • 1 tbsp minced garlic • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined • 1/2 tsp oregano • 1/2 cup dry white wine

• 1/4 cup lemon juice • 8 oz cooked linguine • 1/4 cup parsley DIRECTIONS

1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. 4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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