Plan. Protect. Preserve.
OFFICES: Brighton | Bloomfield Hills | Livonia | Novi
SET UP A TARGET, AND AIM FOR IT The Importance of Goal Setting
I think all of you can remember a time when, as children, you wanted something so badly that you were willing to save for it. Whether that meant opening up a lemonade stand, delivering papers door to door, or digging through the couch cushions for spare change, you were willing to put off the instant gratification of penny candy for something a little more valuable. For me, that desired object was music, and it came in the form of CDs. Today, you can listen to any song, anywhere, at virtually no cost. When I was growing up, however, CDs were big business. There were music stores everywhere, and nothing quite beat the feeling of popping in an album you wanted for the first time. I quickly realized that buying CDs one at a time was expensive, so I had to devise a new way to get the music I craved. One day, I came across an ad in a magazine that said “12 CDs for the price of 1.” That ad was for the BMG Music Service, and I knew instantly that I needed to sign up.
Of course, that deal was only for the first month. After that, I needed to do some saving to make sure I could afford my monthly subscription. I was a classic rock fanatic, and going a month without getting my hands on an album by The Doors or Jimi Hendrix was not an option. To avoid this terrible fate, I did all of my chores on time and picked up whatever odd jobs I could. If finances were looking tight, I might even go a few days without school lunch in order to pocket the money. The process of making sure I never went without my monthly CDs is not all that different from what I do with my clients today, except what they’re saving for is a whole lot more important than a couple of plastic discs filled with music — but don’t tell 12-year-old me that! After getting to know my clients, the first thing we do is set goals for what they want their later life and estate to look like. Without a thorough understanding of goals, it’s impossible to develop a set of strategies that will meet individual needs. Everyone is different, and they need a plan that accounts for that.
Once you lay out exactly what you hope to achieve, you can go about the work of making it happen. Elder care isn’t simply about checking off a list of tasks. Instead, it’s about ensuring that your wishes are fulfilled no matter what may happen to you or your loved ones. The peace of mind that comes with knowing your plan is protected will give you the chance to focus on more fun questions, like where you want to take your next vacation. The harder you work to achieve your goals, the better it feels when you get there. I may not have grown up at a time when any album you wanted was just a few clicks away, but that made the CDs I did own all the more precious to me. There will never be an elder care streaming service, so you’ll need to know what you want, and then we can do the work to get there.
– Christopher J. Berry
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Plan. Protect. Preserve.
They Say Ignorance Is Bliss … But Is It Healthy? THE EFFECTS OF NEGATIVE NEWS
It’s nearly impossible to log on to social media or turn on the TV without seeing something distressing. Instead of dwelling on what’s troubling, let’s focus on how to protect our mental health.
WHY IS THE NEWS SO NEGATIVE?
As news media revenue goes down and people become desensitized, news organizations feel the pressure to show emotionally relevant
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF BAD NEWS
material such as crime and accidents. At a basic level, for something to be
A study by Psychology Today found that people who watch negative news feel worse about pre-existing worries than people who watch happy or neutral events. That means people watching the news don’t just feel anxious about the world — they feel more anxious about their own lives.
“newsworthy” — negative or not — it needs to be the exception to the rule, not the norm. That means watching the news might give you an inaccurate view of what daily life is like in the world.
HOW TO FIGHT THE NEGATIVITY
British psychologist Dr. Graham Davey, who specializes in the effects of media
It’s important to understand important issues of the day. But when the news becomes too much, psychologists encourage you to take a break with some good news
violence, says negative news can affect how you interact with the world around you. As you consume threatening news, you’re more likely to spot threats in your day-to-day activities that aren’t there, which leads to anxiety.
— or no news at all. Advances in medicine and technology happen all the time! Seek out those stories or take a break from news altogether. That’s when
no news can become good news.
TRUST US, THIS CLASS IS IMPORTANT Education for Successor Trustees
Establishing a trust comes with many considerations. Without question, one of the most important, difficult decisions is deciding whom you will name as your successor trustee. The person who assumes this role will administer your trust when you are no longer able to. Your successor trustee should be well-versed in the duties of their role so that they can settle your trust in accordance with your wishes. To help educate successor trustees, we are hosting a seminar on Thursday, September 14, from 6–8 p.m. at our Novi location. The first task a trustee should undertake is to have a serious conversation with a trust maker regarding their wishes. While your trust will have instructions, a heart-to-heart will provide emotional understanding in addition to the detailed instructions within the document. It’s important
that your trustee speak with an attorney here at the firm to better grasp their role. When it comes time to administer a trust, they can speak with us if they need assistance with any aspect of executing your wishes. If you have not yet introduced your successor trustee to us, this meeting will be a great opportunity to do so. At the seminar, we’ll provide an outline and plan of action for trust administration that will give you peace of mind that your successor trustee is fully prepared to assume their role. It’s rare that your successor trustee will have previous experience in the role, so education is crucial. You’ve likely chosen someone you trust and respect to assume this role, now it’s time to make sure they’re ready. Bring your loved ones along on September 14. It will be two hours that can make a huge difference.
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Estate planning is a lot more than simply writing up a will. A comprehensive estate plan will help you avoid probate, control distributions, protect your beneficiaries, and limit the expense of long-term care. An estate plan isn’t complete without these seven essential elements. 1. TRUST The two main types of trusts are revocable living trusts and Castle Asset Protection Trusts. The former can avoid probate and control distribution of an estate upon death. The latter offers these features in addition to protecting your assets from long-term care costs and lawsuits. 2. WILL A trust-based estate plan required a last will and testament. A “pour-over” will ensure that any assets ending up in probate will be transferred to your trust. 3. FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY This document will allow an individual to pay bills on behalf of a loved one without having to go through the court system. 4. MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY This document is like a financial power of attorney but for medical decisions. In the event you are unable to make decisions about care because you are incapacitated, someone will be able to do it on your behalf. Check Every Box The 7 Elements of a Comprehensive Estate Plan
5. PERSONAL CARE PLAN Your personal care plan will provide instructions on how you would like to receive care in the future. It will allow someone with medical power of attorney to know they are fulfilling your wishes. 6. DEED Any property you own must be deeded or it will end up in probate. Ladybird deeds or deeding directly to a Castle Trust will avoid this messy process. 7. FUNDING A trust must be properly funded to do its job. If you want to avoid spending a lot more in probate down the line, invest in the health of your trust.
Chris’ Paleo Corner:
AVOCADO AND CUCUMBER COLD SOUP
Recipe inspired by kirantarun.com.
Thank You! For us to be able to help family and friends just like you, we depend on referrals. Thank you to the following people for your support!
Summer may be drawing to a close, but the heat doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere soon. Cool off with this light, cold soup and enjoy those last few sunny summer afternoons!
DIRECTIONS • Olive oil • 2 medium ripe avocados, halved • 1 large cucumber, halved • 6 stalks spring onions • 1 jalapeno 1. Preheat grill to medium-high. 2. Coat halved avocados with lemon juice to avoid browning. Brush olive oil over avocados, cucumber, spring onions, and jalapeno. Oil grill while hot.
• 1 lemon, juiced • ½ cup cold water • 1 clove garlic • ¾ teaspoon salt • ½ teaspoon black pepper
4. Chop grilled veggies and puree with lemon juice, cold water, garlic, salt, and black pepper. 5. Once smooth, portion soup into bowls and refrigerate to cool before serving. 6. Garnish with toasted cubed bread,
3. Grill vegetables until everything is
grilled or slightly charred. Once grilled, remove and place on platter to cool.
avocados, spring onions, chives, lemon zest, or a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
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Plan. Protect. Preserve.
8550 Grand River Ave., Ste. 200 Brighton, MI 48116 888-390-4360 www.MichiganEstatePlanning.com
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INSIDE this issue
Set Up a Target, and Aim for It PAGE 1 Ignorance Is Bliss … Is It Healthy? PAGE 2
Trust Us, This Is Important PAGE 2
The Estate Planning Checklist PAGE 3
Avocado and Cucumber Cold Soup PAGE 3
The Best Water Sport You Haven’t Tried Yet PAGE 4
THE BEST WATER SPORT YOU HAVEN’T TRIED YET Why You Should Get Into Stand-Up Paddleboarding Today!
It’s the end of summer, and before fall and winter start to creep in, you can still take advantage of the warm weather and jump into the world’s fastest-growing water sport, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). This sport is exactly what is sounds
Stand-up paddleboarding has ancient roots in African, Peruvian, and Hawaiian cultures. Thousands of years ago, each independently developed traditions of traveling across the water while using a paddle and a longboard. However, it was the Hawaiians who surfed the big waves with a paddleboard, and Maui surf legend Laird Hamilton was the first person to bring SUP to the continental United States. Most stand-up paddleboarders aim to battle the waves to challenge their balance and core strength, but you don’t need to live by the ocean in order to enjoy paddleboarding. Wide lakes, lazy rivers, and even fierce rapids can all be perfect places to paddleboard. Basically, if you can bring a canoe, you can SUP there, too. Many outdoor gear providers across the world rent out SUP supplies now, so you can try it out with your friends before fully investing in the sport. Part of what makes SUP so fun is how the simple premise has been adopted into so many other activities. SUP enthusiasts created specially designed paddleboards for fishing, yoga, racing, and even touring the open ocean. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy these last days of summer and have some fun out on the water!
like. You stand on a paddleboard — like a surfboard but wider
and more buoyant — and use a long paddle to glide across water. It sounds simple enough, but with a 200 percent boost in gear sales in the last year alone, SUP fans can tell you how much
fun “simple” can be.
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