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February 2017 Newsletter

I trust your year is off to a wonderful start! If you’re like me, you find that February signifies the return to normalcy. We are all back into our daily routines and looking forward to the year to come.

I have just returned from Florida where I enjoyed the warm weather while I was attending The Hecklerling Institute. This is an annual conference I do not miss because it gives me the information I need on the updates to the estate and taxation laws we use here each and every day together with new strategies for estate, business and wealth planning. The conference emphasized for me, as I shared with you in my December newsletter, that while we do not know exactly what will happen we can expect changes to be made during this legislative session to the estate tax laws, Medicare and our long-term care planning options. In contrast to the wait-and-see approach, attorneys from around the nation agreed we need to plan now (or update existing estate plans) because we do not know what is to come this year.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know. I wish you a wonderful February and a very Happy Valentine’s Day! 
 
Sincerely,




Patrick

There are numerous ways you can say “I love you” to someone you love.  Chocolates, flowers, candy, a new car… we all can think of a number of “things” we can give those we care most about to show them our love. We can also simply say those three little words.

The best way is usually the simplest and most effective in expressing how you feel for your spouse, family and friends. Sometimes, however, saying “I love you” requires a little more complexity. Especially, in the event you are no longer here to say the words.

Believe it or not, estate planning is a very powerful statement of your love to your family and those you care about. In this article, we share with you the several reasons why estate planning can be a very powerful demonstration of your love for another, although the magnitude of what you have done for another is often not seen right away.

First, it takes time to create effective and correct estate planning.  You need to decide what you really want now, and well into the future for your family, friends and loved ones. It can be stressful to think about life after your death but it is very important to ensure that the sorrow your loved one’s feel is not compounded by a lengthy and expensive court case. The right estate plan for you and your family can remove this very real scenario from their future.


The second reason why is estate planning does not simply financially benefit your heirs.  It unburdens you and them of stress that can arise with medical issues at the end of life. You can choose now both who your decision makers are and how you want decisions handled. By completing estate planning now, you ensure all end of life decisions are your own and not someone else's.  Often, you do not realize how important the health care component of estate planning can be until it is too late to thoughtfully plan.

Finally, and one of the most important reasons by far, completing correct New York estate planning removes the burden of making critical decisions from your grieving loved ones while they are dealing with your death.  Timely estate planning ensures this by considering all contingencies that someone who is emotionally compromised might overlook. It also prevents the threat of your loved ones being taken advantage of during this difficult time.

We know estate planning is not a traditional gift that says “I love you” to your spouse and your family, but we think it should be. Don’t wait to contact us to discuss how you can give this important gift to those you love most. We look forward to helping you make this gift.

 

Last month, we shared with you our five top tips for pre-planning before you travel (if you missed this article, you can click here to read it).  This month, in Part 2 of our Travel Safe! Series, we are focusing on making sure the travel you plan for you and your family is protected against uncertainty.

Most of us no longer work with a travel agent to plan our trip. One of the benefits of working with a travel agent, however, is that the agent makes sure your trip is protected against unexpected cancellation or illness. Travel agents accomplish this in several ways including purchasing trip insurance through the vendor, using insurance provided through their own company or simply keeping you updated of the date on which you can cancel with penalty.

Today, it is fairly simple and easy to plan your own trip, not to mention enjoyable and more cost effective. With this in mind, however, what should we do on our own to make sure we are still able to protect our travel plans against unforeseen circumstances that may require us to cancel? Here are our three planning tips when it comes to protecting your travel investment: 

1.  Determine what type of insurance you need. You want your insurance to cover all aspects of your trip and purchasing piecemeal coverage for your flight or for your hotel, may not include the rental car you need or the events you have planned while on the trip. Your goal is to be made whole in the event of cancellation. Make sure your insurance is comprehensive. 

2. Choose whether to self-insure or not. If you cannot get full coverage on your trip through the vendors you are planning with, talk to your other insurance providers such as your home insurance or car insurance company. You may be surprised to find the comprehensive travel insurance coverage offered by both AAA and AARP.

3. Read the policy. Not every scenario is included, even in these all-inclusive policies. You also should understand what information you will need to furnish to obtain reimbursement and what percentage of your trip will be reimbursed. Read the fine print now to know how to protect yourself in the event of a crisis. After reading the policy, consider purchasing a secondary policy that can act as gap insurance. 

We know just what fun traveling and planning trips with your family can be. Just don’t forget, in light of the uncertainties that can arise in our daily lives, to protect yourself and the investment you are making.

 

What to Do When a Loved One Passes
When someone passes away, there is more to be done than most of us realize. Help your family by planning now. Click here for our free resource to get started. 


We hope to see you at the upcoming community events where Patrick will be speaking:
 

Wills verses Trusts
Monday, February 6th at 1:00 pm (ET) at The Corning Library

5 Critical Documents
Tuesday, February 7th at 1:00 pm (ET) at The Corning Library

As part of our ongoing commitment to excellence in estate and business planning, we want to continue to be able to provide you and your family with comprehensive, cutting-edge wealth planning strategies. This month, Patrick is attending the nationally recognized Laureate Center for Wealth Advisor's The Gathering. This prestigious education is provided through The Southern California Institute.
Sweetheart Chocolate Cake!
 
Ingredients
 

8 ounces of high quality dark chocolate
8 ounces of unsalted butter, cubed
1 and ½ cups of sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon of flour
1 can of whipped cream 
1 container of raspberries 

Spray a 9-inch cake dish with non-stick cooking spray and turn the oven on to 375 degrees.

Using a double boiler, add the chocolate and stir constantly until melted. As the chocolate melts, add the butter. When combined, add the sugar and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Individually add the eggs and the add the flour. Stir until completely smooth.

Pour into cake pan. Bake in the prepared cake dish for 25 minutes or until you see slight cracking. Remove from the oven and flip upside. The center should deflate slightly.  Allow to chill in the refrigerator for one hour minimum.

Decorate with whipped cream and raspberries to serve. 

 
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