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Mind Your Own Business
February, 2017 - Issue #148
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courtesy of Shutterstock

Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney
Because you can go through the claims process without legal representation, many people wonder why they need a car accident attorney. But, as with many things in life, just because you can doesn't mean you should. There's a variety of reasons why it's advantageous to work with an attorney.
They can deal with the insurance company for you
They often get clients much more than the insurance company originally offered
This may be your first accident, but a quality firm has handled thousands of car accident cases
They can ensure all your paperwork is filed thoroughly and on time
They will come to you. If you were injured during your accident and unable to meet at one of their offices, they can travel to meet you at home, in the hospital or elsewhere
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus 296-2992

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courtesy of Shutterstock
The New Rules for Retirement
by Arif M. Halaby

There is little debate that retirement has changed from what it once was. So, how do you prepare for this new normal? Start with understanding that work is not viewed the same way as your parents or grandparents saw it. It was a means to an end and something to get through every day, month and year, up to that magical moment called retirement. Today, work is a lot more than just a paycheck. It has become our identity, a social event and - most important of all: it fulfills a purpose.
Now that people are living much longer during their retirement years, the "purpose" of our life has become more important. The "golden" years have become a time to explore the world, our relationships and our purpose. Many Americans are seeing this time as an opportunity to start a third or fourth career and give back to others. It is important to set yourself up for this new change years in advance. Your new career or volunteer opportunity may require education or training that needs time to be completed. I think people can be mislead when they are told to, "follow their passion and the money will follow." How you are paid has more to do with the service or product you provide and not the level of passion or enthusiasm you have while delivering that product or service. However, in retirement your enthusiasm in your new career can be important because your income now comes from your pension, social security and retirement accounts.

Retirement can also be a time that we continue in our career field yet do so in a part time or volunteer capacity, that we would never do before. Expect to have choices and decisions that may make you feel uncomfortable. Most Americans have lived their life in a way where they were basically told what to do and when to do it. A boss, manager or regulatory body took a lot of the self-determination out of your day-to-day life. In retirement, the decisions and choices are yours. This is not an easy transition for some to make and can lead to depression and withdrawing from social activities. Staying busy and useful can accomplish a lot more than just a paycheck. This can often be a product of higher, unmet expectations of yourself and the ones around you. Learn to relax and even delay big decisions until you feel ready.
Arif M. Halaby is a certified estate planner and is president/CEO of Total Financial Solutions, Inc. 753-9683

courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock
Why the Cost of Probate
is so High and How to Avoid It

Probate is the court-supervised process of settling the estate of someone who has died. Typically this involves re-titling the deed to a home and gaining control of a bank account and other assets, all in order to distribute these assets to beneficiaries. While probate can be a long and frustrating process, the fees involved are what usually surprises most people. The fees for probate are set in the California Probate Code and are calculated based on a percentage of the gross value of the estate being probated. As an example, let's consider an estate with a home worth $500,000 (Note: Probate doesn't take a mortgage into account, only what the home would sell for.), and some cash and investments totaling $200,000. The total probate fee for this estate worth $700,000 would be $34,000, with half going to the attorney and half to the executor. For an estate worth $1 million, the probate fee is $46,000.

Clearly the fees alone make probate not ideal for almost everyone and not something most people want to subject their family to. Fortunately you can avoid probate fees entirely simply by having a living trust. A living trust allows one's estate to be settled in private without going through probate or court involvement - and without the associated probate fees.
Edward O'Hare, attorney-at-law, of Group One Legal, PC 284-5000
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