Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Kinsey & Hill - June 2020

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We’re in This Together Responding to COVID-19 With Videoconferencing and Free Community Help

L ike many Jewish families, we were celebrating Passover this April while COVID-19 continued to effectively shut down our country, schools, restaurants, and economy. To say it was one of the more unique celebrations we have ever had would be an understatement. Our eldest daughter, Gabi, lives in NewYork City with her fiancé, Benji, and if you were following the news reports at that time, then you know that NewYork City was the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis. Thankfully, Gabi and Benji have been staying with his parents just outside of the city in Montclair, New Jersey. As Passover approached and the restrictions around COVID-19 changed rapidly, we hoped against hope that we could bring Gabi down for Passover. Sadly, it wasn’t possible. But one of the blessings of this pandemic is the time in which this is all happening. We live in a digital age, and while it wasn’t the same as having her home, we were able to videoconference Gabi in to our Seder celebration. As we said our goodbyes, I could see the sadness she felt over being away fromher family during such a celebratory time. We all missed her, but we’re glad she was able to stay safe. We were very happy that our two younger daughters, Courtney and Madison, were able to join us for Passover Seder. In fact, Courtney and Madison temporarily moved back home during the pandemic lockdown. Of course, I love havingmy daughters home, but I’m sure they miss college and the freedom of daily life. (At the time of writing this, they had to come to work with their dad to use theWi-Fi at the office, as the internet connection in our neighborhood was out!)

As it became increasingly evident that COVID-19 was going tomake a significant impact on our lives, we at The Sheppard Law Firm knewwe had to take action to protect our team and clients. We began by sending a few of our employees home and limiting our in-office staff to a skeleton crew. At the same time, we considered what we could do to protect our clients. While we’ve always had the ability to videoconference, following the impact of COVID-19, we made this the preferredmethod of meeting with each other and our clients. In fact, we really ramped up our technology use during the pandemic. Of course, technology couldn’t cover everything we need to do for clients on a daily basis. To combat this, we began offering drive-up signings and witnesses who would stand within a safe distance to oversee the signing. Overall, the measures we took were well-received by our clients and staff, and I am very grateful for how smooth and effective the transition went. We also recognized that our expertise could be utilized during this trying time. The very nature of the pandemic meant more people were getting sick and facing death, and thus there has been a great need to ensure everyone’s medical arrangements are in order. To help with this, we have been preparing a designation of a health care surrogate—someone trusted who canmake medical decisions for a patient in the event the patient is unable to do so—and a living will, which outlines the wishes a patient would have in these situations, free of charge for those who do not have these documents. These decisions are important at any time, but the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the need for the documents outlining them, and we wanted to give back to the community with the expertise we have to offer. That’s why we are offering this free of charge. If you know someone whomay be in need of these documents, please direct them to We are all in this fight together and reeling from the effects of this virus. Whether you had to videoconference into family events or are suffering the loss of something greater as a result of COVID-19, know that our thoughts are with you at this time.

Stay safe and be well.

– Craig Hersch

1 (239) 265-9779

June 2020

Feeling Renewed atAnyAge 2 Ways to Revive Your Life This Summer

If the mercurial spring weather has prevented you from getting out as much as you would have liked these past few months, you might be feeling a bit of cabin fever about now. Luckily, you can still introduce positive changes to your life that help you feel healthier and younger. Here are two ways to awaken your body and mind. Adopt a new activity.

With this better understanding, you can make choices more aligned with your true interests and personality. Think about getting involved with a new activity you may have always wanted to try but never had the chance, like yoga or even a video game. Trying out new things keeps your brain active. You may even discover a new favorite activity along the way! Pay attention to mental health. Although more years provide more experience and knowledge, sometimes they also come with heavy baggage. The loss of a loved one, trauma, and other struggles can impact your life in later years. This is why it’s good to practice mindfulness. Take some time to focus on the present. Go for a walk and listen to the world around you, feel the fresh air against your skin, fill your lungs, and take in everything you can see. Meditation is also a good way to spend a few minutes to focus on your body in the moment and the things in life that make you happy. Practices like these can help you feel lighter, both physically and emotionally. Growing older doesn’t mean you can’t feel renewed and positive. This isn’t just an impossible idea — it’s a reality.

As you get older, it’s not uncommon to drift further from the

lifestyle you had in your 20s and 30s. Things have settled down, and you know a bit more about who you are, what you enjoy, and what you’re capable of.

Reel ‘Em In! Local Fishing Tips to Help You Catch the Big One

Year-round gorgeous weather is just one of the many perks of living in Florida, and with that comes the opportunity for anglers to drop a line in the water pretty much whenever they want. However, with school out for the summer, Father’s Day just around the corner, and National Go Fishing Day on June 18, we believe there’s no better time than June to try to reel in the big one. Before you set off on your next fishing adventure, consider these local fishing tips. Get Licensed Like many states, Florida requires anglers to obtain a fishing license if they are over the age of 16. The cost and type of license vary depending on what you are fishing for, any disabilities you may have, and other factors. Many fishing charters and experts will take care of your licensing or help you through the process. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Grab Your Gear You will also have to consider where you plan to fish and how your gear will fare. The type of fish you

are fishing for will impact the bait, lures, and poles you use. Likewise, with many inlets, rivers, lakes, and coastal regions, there are numerous ways and places to fish, which means a variety of options for your gear. Look to professionals to point you in the best direction, and keep boating safety in mind before heading out. Life jackets, boat safety lessons, and emergency kits will be necessary if you plan on venturing off the coast. Know Your Fish

Florida’s coasts and inland lakes and rivers are home to some of the most diverse marine wildlife in the U.S. This means that fishing in Fort Myers and Sanibel is very different than fishing in say Jacksonville or Tampa. Understanding what types of fish you are after can help you better prepare for your trip. For example, schools of snook, redfish, sheepshead, and mangrove snapper call the inlets of the Gulf of Mexico home, but if you travel offshore, you’re likely going to catch grouper, barracuda, and mackerel. Learn more about the fish that call our coast home from the Florida Fish andWildlife Conservation Commission at

Good luck!


‘Silver Linings’ Expert Advice on Estate Taxes Amid COVID-19

In his weekly column, Craig Hersch offers expertise and guidance to those considering how this crisis could impact their estate and what positive actions they can take in light of the turmoil and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a snippet from the column “Silver Linings.” You can read the full version at If you’re concerned about estate taxes, then the stock market drop related to the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity. Many who watch the market are sickened by its precipitous decline this past spring. Yet, if you’re concerned about federal estate taxes, nowmight be an opportunity to act. Everyone’s stock portfolio has declined, and so have real estate values and those of closely held businesses. Discounted values on operating assets held in LLCs, partnerships, and S corporations may be as much as 75% lower than they were only a fewmonths ago. Combine the loss of value with extremely low interest rates, and you have leveraging strategies that can minimize lifetime gifts. Now, for example, is an excellent time to consider grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), qualified personal residence trusts

(QPRTs), and sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTs).

You might believe that today’s high federal gift and estate tax exemption of $11.54 million means you don’t have to worry about these things. Consider this: First, the current exemption will expire on Dec. 31, 2025. Second, the exemption may be lowered before then, depending upon which party wins theWhite House and the Congress in November’s elections. Our federal government is spending trillions of dollars for stimulus over the next several months to head off a recession. It will have to recover that money. Tax rates are certainly going to increase. It’s easier to tax transfers of wealth as opposed to income. So now might be the least expensive time to consider wealth transfers. The best wealth transfer techniques are designed with the client’s goals and concerns in mind. The conversation should always start with what the client wants to achieve, not with the advantages and disadvantages of any given strategy. There’s much to consider, even in these dark hours. As always, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney before implementing any strategy.

P a l e o S a u s a


Bacon may be a paleo favorite for breakfast, but this hearty sausage meal can be enjoyed any time of day and is the perfect way to mix things up!


• • •

3 tbsp coconut oil

• • •

4 green onions, diced

1 lb mild Italian sausage

10 eggs, whisked

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and grated

Black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. 2. Crumble sausage into the skillet and cook until browned. 3. Add sweet potato and cook until tender. 4. Add green onion and sauté for 2–3 minutes. 5. Spread this mixture evenly throughout the skillet. Pour eggs over mixture and sprinkle black pepper over top. 6. Cook without stirring for 3 minutes or until bubbly. 7. Transfer skillet to oven and cook under broiler on low until frittata is cooked through.

Solution on Page 4

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Inspired by


9100 College Pointe Court Fort Myers, FL 33919 (239) 265-9779

INSIDE this issue

How the Hersch Family and Sheppard Law Responded to COVID-19........................................................1

How to Feel Renewed at Any Age..............2

Celebrate National Fishing Day on the Local Waters!..................................................2

Expert Advice on Estate Taxes Amid COVID-19........................................................3

Help Local Nonprofits in Challenging Times........................................4

N o n p h e B

Volunteer In a time of social distancing, volunteering may be discouraged, but nonprofits still need volunteers to operate. The good news is that many nonprofits need volunteers for positions that maintain social distance, such as driving. Food banks and kitchens need drivers to pick up

Over the past several months, families, businesses, and nonprofits have had to navigate life in this challenging “new normal,” and it can be hard to support your favorite nonprofits when times are tough. Here are a few ways you can help these important entities, even when you don’t have resources to spare right now. Donate While many people donate generously during the holiday season, remember that nonprofits need donations throughout the year, and different nonprofits need different things. A monetary donation can often go a long way, but never feel obligated to give money, especially when your budget may be tight. Instead, consider cleaning out your closet. What clothes, shoes, or other accessories can you part with? What about dishware or small appliances? When you clean out your home and donate unused items, you benefit those in the community who need them most.

donations or ingredients from donors and to deliver food to people in need, such as the elderly or those with disabilities. Advocate

Even if you don’t have time or resources to give, you can become an advocate for important causes around your community. While it might not seem like much, sharing information about local nonprofits on social media can make a genuine difference. Nonprofits need exposure, which is greatly boosted through community support. Sharing useful information about nonprofits — or sharing their posts — increases their visibility so more people will take action.


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